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Determining carbapenemase activity with 18O labeling and targeted mass spectrometry



Meiyao Wang, Yang Shen, Illarion Turko, Daniel Nelson, Shuwei Li


Carbapenems are broad spectrum antibiotics considered as last resort drugs to treat bacterial infections. Carbapenem-hydrolyzing β-lactamases (also called carbapenemases), however, can confer bacterial resistance and represent a serious health threat. Here, we report a novel approach using 18O labeling and selected reaction monitoring to detect carbapenemase activity from pathogenic microorganisms in a rapid and quantitative manner. Four model bacterial strains bearing various classes of β-lactamases were tested for their capability to hydrolyze meropenem, a FDA-approved carbapenem drug. We were able to predict the meropenem resistance of these bacteria based upon their carbapenemase activity, suggesting the great potential of our method in clinical diagnostics.
Analytical Chemistry


carbapenemase, selected reaction monitoring, isotope labelling, mass spectrometry


Wang, M. , Shen, Y. , Turko, I. , Nelson, D. and Li, S. (2013), Determining carbapenemase activity with 18O labeling and targeted mass spectrometry, Analytical Chemistry, [online], (Accessed April 20, 2024)
Created October 15, 2013, Updated October 12, 2021