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Rapid identification of patients who are colonized with carbapenemase-producing organisms (CPO) is included in multiple national guidelines for containment of these organisms. In a multisite study, we evaluated the performance of the Cepheid Xpert Carba-R assay, a qualitative diagnostic test that was designed for the rapid detection and differentiation of the blaKPC, blaNDM, blaVIM, blaOXA-48, and blaIMP-1 genes from rectal swab specimens. A double rectal swab set was collected from 383 patients admitted at four institutions (2 in the United States, 1 in the United Kingdom, 1 in Spain). One swab was used for reference culture (MacConkey broth containing 1 mg/liter of meropenem and subcultured to a MacConkey agar plate with a 10-μg meropenem disk) and for sequencing of DNA obtained from carbapenem-nonsusceptible isolates for carbapenemase identification. The other swab was used for the Xpert Carba-R assay. In addition to the clinical rectal swabs, 250 contrived specimens (108 well-characterized CPO and 142 negative controls spiked onto negative rectal swabs) were tested. Overall, 149/633 (23.5%) samples were positive by the Xpert Carba-R assay. In 6 samples, multiple targets were detected (4 VIM/OXA-48, 1 IMP-1/NDM, and 1 NDM/KPC). The Xpert Carba-R assay detected 155 targets (26 IMP-1, 30 VIM, 27 NDM, 33 KPC, 39 OXA-48) within a time range of 32 to 48 min. The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of the Xpert Carba-R assay compared to those of the reference culture and sequencing results were 96.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 92.2% to 98.9%), 98.6% (95% CI, 97.1% to 99.4%), 95.3%, and 99.0%, respectively. The Cepheid Xpert Carba-R assay is an accurate and rapid test to identify rectal colonization with CPO, which can guide infection control programs to limit the spread of these organisms.


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Originally published in Journal of Clinical Microbiology. Licensed under CC-BY 4.0.

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