What Your Laboratory Can Do Regarding the VITEK 2 AST Card Recall

Sept. 17, 2018

VITEK 2 is a fully automated system that provides identification and drug sensitivity results for a wide range of microorganisms, and is one of the most common implementations of lab automation used in clinical microbiology labs. The machine uses cards to measure specific characteristics of clinical isolates, such as utilization of carbon sources, enzymatic activities or  growth in the presence of antimicrobial agents. However, the company that produces these cards, BioMérieux, has recently recalled some of their antibiotic susceptibility testing (AST) cards for gram-positive bacteria, and this has major implications for how these cards can be used to assess methicillin resistance in Staphylococcus aureus.
FDA announcement: BioMerieux Recalls VITEK 2 Gram Positive Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (AST) Cards Due to False Results for Some Strains of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
The recalls affect the many labs that use these cards for oxacillin and cefoxitin susceptibility profiles of S. aureus infections, a profile that influences patient treatment decisions. Cefoxitin and oxacillin testing are used to predict susceptibility to methicillin and many other beta-lactam antimicrobials. It’s important to spread the word and inform everyone who uses VITEK 2 technology about these recalls; on their end, BioMérieux has sent a letter to their customer contacts.
The recalled cards can still be useful for assessing other gram-positive isolates, and can be used in tandem with approved additional testing to measure S. aureus susceptibility to methicillin. To answer questions regarding use of Vitek 2 cards for oxacillin and cefoxitin susceptibility testing, the ASM Clinical Laboratory Practice Subcommittee has provided guidance to aid clinical labs with this issue.
VITEK 2 Gram Positive AST Cards Recalled Due to False Results for Some MRSA Strains: What Can Your Laboratory Do?
Further Reading
Bugs & Drugs: Testing Staphylococci for Oxacillin Resistance – Why is it so Complicated?
Bugs & Drugs: Automatic for the People: Automation in Clinical Microbiology

Author: ASM Communications

ASM Communications
ASM Communications staff.