The recent discovery of the plasmid-mediated mcr-1 gene conferring resistance to colistin is of clinical concern. The worldwide screening of this resistance mechanism among samples of different origins has highlighted the urgent need to improve the detection of colistin-resistant isolates in clinical microbiology laboratories. Currently, phenotypic methods used to detect colistin resistance are not necessarily suitable as the main characteristic of the mcr genes is the low level of resistance that they confer, close to the clinical breakpoint recommended jointly by the CLSI and EUCAST expert systems (S?=?2?mg/L and R?>?2?mg/L). In this context, susceptibility testing recommendations for polymyxins have evolved and are becoming difficult to implement in routine laboratory work. The large number of mechanisms and genes involved in colistin resistance limits the access to rapid detection by molecular biology. It is therefore necessary to implement well-defined protocols using specific tools to detect all colistin-resistant bacteria. This review aims to summarize the current clinical microbiology diagnosis techniques and their ability to detect all colistin resistance mechanisms and describe new tools specifically developed to assess plasmid-mediated colistin resistance. Phenotyping, susceptibility testing, and genotyping methods are presented, including an update on recent studies related to the development of specific techniques.
Journal: The Canadian journal of infectious diseases & medical microbiology