A novel GoldNano Carb test for rapid phenotypic detection of carbapenemases, particularly OXA type, in Enterobacteriaceae,Pseudomonas aeruginosaandAcinetobacterspp.

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To develop a simple gold nanoparticle (AuNP)-based colorimetric test, GoldNano Carb (GoldC), for detecting carbapenemase production in Gram-negative bacteria, compared with updated Carba NP (CNP) and CarbAcineto NP (CAcNP) tests by using PCR methods as gold standard.


Ninety-nine carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE), Pseudomonas spp. and Acinetobacter spp. isolates and 89 non-CPE isolates were tested by the GoldC and CNP. Additionally, the CAcNP was performed in the Acinetobacter spp. isolates. The final imipenem (imipenem/cilastatin form) concentration was 5 mg/mL for all three tests. For the GoldC, the imipenem powder was added directly to bacterial cell suspension in distilled water prior to detection of acid product by the citrate-capped AuNP solution. An AuNP change from red to purple, blue or green indicates carbapenemase activity.


The GoldC detected all carbapenemase producers except one OXA-23-like producer (99.0% sensitivity), whereas 11 carbapenemase producers (10 Acinetobacter and 1 P. aeruginosa) were CNP negative (88.9% sensitivity). However, the GoldC and CNP provided 100% and 98.6% sensitivity, respectively, for the CPE and Pseudomonas spp. Both tests gave one false positive from CTX-M-1-like-producing Enterobacter spp. (98.9% specificity). The GoldC and CAcNP detected 96.7% and 93.3% of the Acinetobacter spp. isolates, respectively. Interestingly, times to positivity by the GoldC were markedly shorter than those by the CNP (76.8% versus 36.2% positive at 5 min) and CAcNP (43.3% at 5 min versus 20% within 30 min).


The GoldC is fast, easy, highly sensitive and inexpensive (˜$0.25 per test), suggesting that it may be suitable for routine carbapenemase detection in low-resource settings for infection control or epidemiological purposes.

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