Introduction: Early and appropriated antimicrobial therapy showed to positively impact on the clinical improvement of septic patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate E-test methodology to obtain rapid results of antimicrobial susceptibility, starting directly from blood culture bottles positive to Gram-negative monomicrobial flora. Materials and methods: One hundred and five blood culture samples positive to Gram-negative rods at the microscopic examination were collected. Bacterial identification from early subculture on blood agar after 4 h incubation and rapid direct E-test from blood culture broth were performed on every sample. Antibiotics MIC were achieved after 5-6 h of incubation. Resulting MIC values were compared with those obtained with reference E-test from the overnight subculture. Categorical agreement (CA) and essential agreement (EA) were evaluated. Results: Comparison between rapid direct E-test and reference E-test showed CA ranging from 95.1 to 100 % and 88.2 to 100 % for Enterobacteriaceae (EB) and for non-fermenting Gram-negative bacilli, respectively. Rapid direct E-test showed an overall EA of 80.1 %, revealing different EA rates for the tested antibiotics. Among carbapenemase-producing EB, CA of 87.5 % and EA of 75.5 % for MP were achieved. Discussion: The same-day communication of the antimicrobial susceptibility represents an important challenge in the multidrug-resistance era. Despite not being able to anticipate actual MIC values, the rapid direct E-test may be useful to obtain preliminary AST results in 5-6 h, especially if used in association with phenotypic or genotypic tests to identify the main resistance mechanisms.
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