Rifaximin-resistant Clostridium difficile strains isolated from symptomatic patients.Anaerobe. 2017 Dec; 48:269-272.A
Rifaximin has been proposed as an alternative treatment for specific cases of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) and intestinal decontamination. Rifaximin-resistant C. difficile has occasionally been reported. Antibiotic susceptibility testing relies on anaerobic agar dilution (reference method), which is cumbersome and not routinely used. There is no commercial test for detection of resistance to rifaximin.
To assess resistance to rifaximin by C. difficile and to evaluate the correlation between the results of the rifampicin E-test and susceptibility to rifaximin.
We compared the in vitro susceptibility of clinical CDI isolates to rifaximin over a 6-month period using the agar dilution method with susceptibility to rifampicin using the E-test. All isolates were characterized using PCR-ribotyping. Clinical data were recorded prospectively.
We recovered 276 consecutive C. difficile isolates and found that 32.2% of episodes were caused by rifaximin-resistant strains. The MICs for rifaximin ranged from <0.0009-256 mg/L, with a geometric mean (GM) of 0.256 mg/L, an MIC50/90 of 0.015/>256 mg/L. Rifaximin and rifampicin MICs were comparable, and all strains classed as resistant by agar dilution were correctly classified as resistant by E-test. The most common ribotypes were 001 (37.2%), 078/126 (14.3%), and 014 (12.0%). Ribotype 001 exhibited the highest MICs for rifaximin.
Resistance to rifaximin was common; resistance rates were higher in ribotype 001 strains. Susceptibility to rifaximin determined by agar dilution correlated with susceptibility to rifampicin determined using the E-test, including rifaximin-resistant strains. Our results suggest that the rifampicin E-test is a valid method for the prediction of rifaximin-resistant C. difficile.