Evaluation of a cefoxitin 30 µg disc on Iso-Sensitest agar for detection of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus


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Abstract

ObjectivesTo evaluate the performance of a cefoxitin 30 µg disc on Iso-Sensitest agar, using a semi-confluent inoculum and overnight incubation at 35–36°C, for detection of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).MethodsA total of 457 S. aureus, including 190 MRSA of several defined PFGE types and a number of low-level resistant isolates, were tested with a cefoxitin 30 µg disc on Iso-Sensitest agar, using a semi-confluent inoculum and overnight incubation at 35–36°C. This method was compared with the standard SRGA (Swedish Reference Group for Antibiotics) method (oxacillin 1 µg disc on Iso-Sensitest agar supplemented with 5% defibrinated horse blood, confluent growth and 24 h incubation in ambient air at 30°C).ResultsThe cefoxitin method was excellent, with a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 99% using an interpretative zone diameter of S ≥ 29 mm and R < 29 mm. Its performance was much better than the SRGA method, which with this collection of difficult strains had a sensitivity of only 78% using the current breakpoint of S ≥ 12 mm.ConclusionWe suggest that the cefoxitin method should replace that currently recommended by the SRGA for the detection of MRSA, and that it would fit well into BSAC methodology.

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