Impact of changes in CLSI and EUCAST breakpoints for susceptibility in bloodstream infections due to extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli


Corresponding author: J. Rodríguez-Baño, Sección de Enfermedades Infecciosas, Hospital Universitario Virgen Macarena, Avda Dr Fedriani 3, 41009 Seville, Spain


Clin Microbiol Infect 2012; 18: 894–900


The impact of recent changes in and discrepancies between the breakpoints for cephalosporins and other antimicrobials, as determined by CLSI and European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST), was analysed in patients with bloodstream infections caused by extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) producing Escherichia coli in Spain, was analysed. We studied a cohort of 191 episodes of bloodstream infection caused by ESBL-producing E. coli in 13 Spanish hospitals; the susceptibility of isolates to different antimicrobials was investigated by microdilution and interpreted according to recommendations established in 2009 and 2010 by CLSI, and in 2011 by EUCAST. Overall, 58.6% and 14.7% of isolates were susceptible to ceftazidime, and 35.1% and 14.7% to cefepime using the CLSI-2010 and EUCAST-2009/2011 recommendations, respectively (all isolates would have been considered resistant using the previous guidelines). Discrepancies between the CLSI-2010 and the EUCAST-2011 recommendations were statistically significant for other antimicrobials only in the case of amikacin (98.4% versus 75.9% of susceptible isolates; p <0.01). The results varied depending on the ESBL produced. No significant differences were found in the percentage of patients classified as receiving appropriate therapy, following the different recommendations. Four out of 11 patients treated with active cephalosporins according to CLSI-2010 guidelines died (all had severe sepsis or shock); these cases would have been considered resistant according to EUCAST-2011. In conclusion, by using current breakpoints, extended-spectrum cephalosporins would be regarded as active agents for treating a significant proportion of patients with bloodstream infections caused by ESBL-producing E. coli.