Performance characteristics of newer MIC gradient strip tests compared with the Etest for antimicrobial susceptibility testing of Neisseria gonorrhoeae
For Neisseria gonorrhoeae susceptibility testing, Etest, comparable to agar dilution, is frequently used. In recent years, newer MIC gradient strip tests have been commercialized. However, these tests have not been appropriately evaluated for gonococci. We evaluated the sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, quality, availability of antimicrobials and cost of the MIC Test Strip (Liofilchem), M.I.C.Evaluator (Oxoid) and Ezy MIC Strip (HiMedia), compared to the reference Etest (bioMérieux), for gonococcal susceptibility testing. The MICs of eight antimicrobials in 103 gonococcal international reference strains (n = 29) and clinical isolates (n = 74) were examined. Coefficient of determination (R2), complete agreement, essential agreement, SIR categorical agreement, sensitivity, specificity and accuracy were calculated. R2 of the MICs for the antimicrobials ranged between 0.674–0.996, 0.617–0.993, and 0.643–0.994 for the MIC Test Strip, M.I.C.Evaluator strips and Ezy MIC Strips respectively. The essential agreement (SIR categorical agreement) was 99.6% (88.6%), 100% (87.1%) and 93.0% (83.1%) respectively. M.I.C.Evaluator strips for gonococcal key antimicrobials were lacking and the Ezy MIC Strips showed an inconsistent accuracy, quality and some strips were contaminated. The Liofilchem MIC Test Strips had limitations, but might be relatively accurate alternatives to Etest for gonococci. Strict quality assurance (at manufacturing and testing laboratory), including quality controls, are required.
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