Rapid determination of antimicrobial susceptibility of Gram-negative bacteria from clinical blood cultures using a scattered light integrated collection (SLIC) device

Kerry Falconer*, Robert Hammond, Benjamin John Parcell, Stephen Henry Gillespie

*Corresponding author for this work

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A bloodstream infection (BSI) presents a complex and serious health problem, a problem that is being exacer- bated by increasing antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Gap statement
The current turnaround times (TATs) for most antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) methods offer results retrospective of treatment decisions, and this limits the impact AST can have on antibiotic prescribing and patient care. Progress must be made towards rapid BSI diagnosis and AST to improve antimicrobial stewardship and reduce preventable deaths from BSIs. To support the successful implementation of rapid AST (rAST) in hospital settings, a rAST method that is affordable, is sustainable and offers comprehensive AMR detection is needed.

To evaluate a scattered light-integrated collection (SLIC) device against standard of care (SOC) to determine whether SLIC could accelerate the current TATs with actionable, accurate rAST results for Gram-negative BSIs.

Positive blood cultures from a tertiary referral hospital were studied prospectively. Flagged positive Gram-negative blood cultures were confirmed by Gram staining and analysed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry, Vitek 2, disc diffusion (ceftriaxone susceptibility only) and an SLIC device. Susceptibility to a panel of five antibiotics, as defined by European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing breakpoints, was examined using SLIC.

A total of 505 bacterial–antimicrobial combinations were analysed. A categorical agreement of 95.5 % (482/505) was achieved between SLIC and SOC. The 23 discrepancies that occurred were further investigated by the broth microdilution method, with 10 AST results in agreement with SLIC and 13 in agreement with SOC. The mean time for AST was 10.53±0.46 h and 1.94±0.02 h for Vitek 2 and SLIC, respectively. SLIC saved 23.96±1.47 h from positive blood culture to AST result.

SLIC has the capacity to provide accurate AST 1 day earlier from flagged positive blood cultures than SOC. This significant time saving could accelerate time to optimal antimicrobial therapy, improving antimicrobial stewardship and man- agement of BSIs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number001812
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Medical Microbiology
Issue number2
Early online date28 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2024


  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Antimicrobial stewardship
  • Antimicrobial susceptibility testing
  • Blood culture
  • Bloodstream infection
  • Rapid diagnostics


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