Validation of EUCAST zone diameter breakpoints against reference broth microdilution

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The European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST) began harmonizing clinical breakpoints in Europe 2002. In 2009, work to develop a disc diffusion method began and the first disc diffusion breakpoints calibrated to EUCAST clinical MIC breakpoints were published in December 2009. In this study we validated EUCAST clinical zone diameter breakpoints against the International Standard Organization (ISO) reference broth microdilution. A collection of 544 isolates (238 Gram-negative and 306 Gram-positive) were tested against a panel of antimicrobial agents. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed with broth microdilution as described by ISO and disc diffusion in accordance with EUCAST methodology. Inhibition zone diameters and MIC values were interpreted and categorized (S, I and R) according to EUCAST clinical breakpoint table version 2.0. Categorical agreement (CA) as well as minor (mD), major (MD) and very major (VMD) discrepancies were determined. There was in general good correlation between susceptibility test results obtained with disc diffusion and broth microdilution. Overall CA was 97.3% for all combinations of organisms and antimicrobial agents (n = 5231) and the overall discrepancy rates were 110 (2.1%) mD, 24 (0.5%) MD and 7 (0.1%) VMD. The overall CA for Gram-positive and Gram-negative organisms were 98.7% (2346 tests) and 96.2% (2942 tests), respectively. Seven VMD were observed, five for Gram-positive organisms (coagulase negative staphylococci (n = 2) and Staphylococcus aureus (n = 3)) and two for Gram-negative organisms (Pseudomonas aeruginosa). Minor discrepancies were mainly observed in Gram-negatives and were related to different antimicrobial agents and species.

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