Rapid detection and reporting of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales (CPE) is one of the top priorities of clinical microbiology laboratories. The Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute recommends the modified carbapenem inactivation method (mCIM) as the preferred method for this purpose, but it requires a broth incubation process which can be cumbersome. Here, we compared the performance of mCIM with three alternative rapid CPE detection methods against a collection of genetically defined CPE, with most carrying blaIMP, and non-CPE clinical isolates. The sensitivities of mCIM, simplified carbapenem inactivation method (sCIM), Rapidec Carba NP, and NG-Test Carba 5 were 98.0%, 54.9%, 90.2%, and 72.5%, whereas the specificities were 89.5%, 84.2%, 89.5%, and 100%, respectively. Modification of the interpretive criteria of sCIM increased its sensitivity to 88.2% and specificity to 89.5%. The results suggest that mCIM is currently the optimal method for CPE detection in an epidemiological setting where CPE-producing IMP group carbapenemase is predominant. While sCIM is easier to perform, it requires further validation before it can be widely adopted as an alternative to mCIM in the clinical laboratory. IMPORTANCE Simple identification methods for carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales are required for the clinical laboratory. The simplified carbapenem inactivation method (sCIM) is a carbapenemase detection method that can be performed with less hands-on time than mCIM, but its sensitivity and specificity were suboptimal compared with other phenotypic detection methods when tested against a collection of IMP-producing CPE. Insufficient inactivation of imipenem from inadequate inoculation was suspected as the cause. While sCIM is easier to perform, it requires optimization before it can be widely adopted as an alternative to mCIM in the clinical laboratory.
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