The detection of extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs) in gram-negative bacteria that produce AmpC β-lactamases is problematic. In the present study, the performance of modified double-disc synergy test (MDDST) that employs a combination of cefepime and piperacillin-tazobactam for the detection of Proteus mirabilis producing extended spectrum and AmpC β-lactamases was evaluated and compared with double-disc synergy test (DDST) and NCCLS phenotypic disc confirmatory test (NCCLS-PDCT). A total of 90 clinical isolates of P. mirabilis , which met the CLSI (Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute) screening criteria that these had broth microdilution (BMD) MIC of ≥2 μg/mL for at least one extended spectrum cephalosporin [ceftazidime (CAZ), cefotaxime (CTX) and cefpodoxime], were selected for the study. MDDST detected ESBLs in 40/90 of the isolates, whereas DDST detected ESBLs in only 25 isolates. NCCLS-PDCT could detect ESBLs in 39 isolates using CAZ and CAZ + clavulanic acid (CLA) combination, whereas CTX and CTX + CLA combination could detect only 37 isolates as ESBL positive. As many as 34/40 ESBL positive isolates were confirmed to be AmpC β-lactamase positive by the modified three-dimensional test (MTDT). MDDST and NCCLS-PDCT could detect ESBLs in all the 34 AmpC positive isolates, whereas DDST could detect ESBLs in only 19 isolates. The study demonstrated that MDDST is superior to DDST and as sensitive as NCCLS-PDCT. However, MDDST seems to have enhanced potential for the detection of ESBLs in AmpC β-lactamase-producing P. mirabilis.
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