Performance of Four Fosfomycin Susceptibility Testing Methods against an International Collection of Clinical Pseudomonas aeruginosa Isolates

Elizabeth C. Smith, Hunter V. Brigman, Jadyn C. Anderson, Christopher L. Emery, Tiffany E. Bias, Phillip J. Bergen, Cornelia B. Landersdorfer, Elizabeth B. Hirsch

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Fosfomycin has been shown to have a wide spectrum of activity against multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria; however, breakpoints have been established only for Escherichia coli or Enterobacterales per the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) and the European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST), respectively. A lack of additional organism breakpoints limits clinical use of this agent and has prompted extrapolation of these interpretive categories to other organisms like Pseudomonas aeruginosa without supporting evidence. Further complicating the utility of fosfomycin is the specified method for MIC determination, namely, agar dilution, which is not widely available and is both labor and time intensive. We therefore sought to determine the susceptibility of a large international collection of P. aeruginosa isolates (n = 198) to fosfomycin and to compare testing agreement rates across four methods: agar dilution, broth microdilution, disk diffusion, and Etest. Results were interpreted according to CLSI E. coli breakpoints, with 49.0 to 85.8% considered susceptible, dependent upon the testing method used. Epidemiological cutoff values were calculated and determined to be 256 μg/ml and 512 μg/ml for agar dilution and broth microdilution, respectively. Agreement rates were analyzed using both agar dilution and broth microdilution with a resulting high essential agreement rate of 91.3% between the two susceptibility testing methods. These results indicate that broth microdilution may be a reliable method for fosfomycin susceptibility testing against P. aeruginosa and stress the need for P. aeruginosa-specific breakpoints.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere01121-20
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • agar dilution
  • agreement
  • broth microdilution
  • error
  • multidrug resistant
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • susceptibility testing

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