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Comparison of spiral gradient endpoint and agar dilution methods for susceptibility testing of anaerobic bacteria: a multilaboratory collaborative evaluation.

  • H M Wexler
  • E Molitoris
  • P R Murray
  • J Washington
  • R J Zabransky
  • P H Edelstein
  • S M Finegold
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1996


A multilaboratory collaborative study was carried out to assess the utility of the spiral gradient endpoint (SGE) method for the determination of the antimicrobial susceptibilities of anaerobes and to evaluate the equivalence of the MICs obtained by the SGE method with those obtained by the reference agar dilution method of the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards. The standard deviation of the MIC obtained by the SGE method for the five participating laboratories was +/- 0.26 of a twofold dilution, whereas it was +/- 1 twofold dilution by the reference method. The interlaboratory reproducibility of the results for two control strains tested with imipenem, chloramphenicol, and metronidazole indicated that 96% of the measurements fell within +/- 1 twofold dilution of the mode. The equivalence of the SGE method with the agar dilution method was assessed with a wide variety of anaerobic organisms. The MICs by both methods were within 1 doubling dilution in 93% of the measurements (n = 1,074). Discrepancies generally occurred with those organism-drug combinations that resulted in tailing endpoints (Fusobacterium nucleatum, 86% agreement) or in cases of light growth (Peptostreptococcus spp., 86% agreement).

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