Development and evaluation of immunochromatography to detect Gram-negative bacteria producing ArmA 16S rRNA methylase responsible for aminoglycoside resistance

J Microbiol Methods. 2015 Nov;118:159-63. doi: 10.1016/j.mimet.2015.09.005. Epub 2015 Sep 14.


Rapid and reliable detection of aminoglycoside-resistant bacteria is an important infection-control measure and a crucial aspect of antimicrobial chemotherapy. The enzyme 16S rRNA methylase has been shown to mediate aminoglycoside resistance in bacteria. This study describes a newly developed immunochromatographic assay using novel monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that recognize ArmA 16S rRNA methylase. Epitope mapping showed that these mAbs recognized amino acids 1-93 of ArmA, which consists of 257 amino acids. Evaluation of the assay using ArmA producing and non-producing bacterial species, as well as bacteria producing other types of 16S rRNA methylases, indicated that immunochromatographic detection of the ArmA-type 16S rRNA methylase was fully consistent with PCR analysis for armA genes, with all immunochromatographically positive strains being resistant to aminoglycosides (MIC≥128μg/mL). The detection limit of the assay was 12ng ArmA. These findings indicate that this assay can be used for the rapid and reliable detection of the production of ArmA 16S rRNA methylase by Gram-negative bacteria, including Acinetobacter baumannii and Escherichia coli.

Keywords: 16S rRNA methylase; Aminoglycoside resistance; ArmA; Immunochromatography; Rapid test.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aminoglycosides / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Chromatography, Affinity / methods*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial*
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / enzymology*
  • Methyltransferases / analysis*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Aminoglycosides
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Methyltransferases
  • rRNA (adenosine-O-2'-)methyltransferase