For identification of polymyxin resistance in Enterobacteriaceae, we developed a rapid test that detects glucose metabolization associated with bacterial growth in the presence of a defined concentration of colistin or polymyxin B. Formation of acid metabolites is evidenced by a color change (orange to yellow) of a pH indicator (red phenol). To evaluate the test, we used bacterial colonies of 135 isolates expressing various mechanisms of colistin resistance (intrinsic, chromosomally encoded, and plasmid-mediated MCR-1) and 65 colistin-susceptible isolates. Sensitivity and specificity were 99.3% and 95.4%, respectively, compared with the standard broth microdilution method. This new test is inexpensive, easy to perform, sensitive, specific, and can be completed in <2 hours. It could be useful in countries facing endemic spread of carbapenemase producers and for which polymyxins are last-resort drugs.
Keywords: Enterobacteriaceae; MCR-1; antibiotic; antimicrobial resistance; colistin; polymyxin B; rapid diagnostic test; resistance; susceptibility testing.