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Inactivation of Cephalothin and Cephaloridine by Staphylococcus aureus

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  • Infection And Immunity
  • Philosophy


Benner, Ernest J. (University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle), John V. Bennett, Jean L. Brodie, and William M. M. Kirby. Inactivation of cephalothin and cephaloridine by Staphylococcus aureus. J. Bacteriol. 90:1599–1604. 1965.—Marked differences were observed in the susceptibility of penicillinase-producing staphylococci to cephalothin and cephaloridine. All of 100 strains of penicillin G-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, with the use of a large inoculum, were found to be susceptible to 2 μg/ml of cephalothin, whereas only 50% were susceptible to this concentration of cephaloridine, and 15% required 15 μg/ml or more for inhibition. In contrast, penicillin G-sensitive strains were more susceptible to cephaloridine and did not show the marked inoculum effect observed with the cephaloridine-resistant strains. These differences were due to a much greater destruction of cephaloridine than of cephalothin by staphylococcal penicillinase. Cephaloridine-resistant staphyloccoci were stronger penicillinase producers than were susceptible strains, and the resistant strains were found to inactivate cephaloridine by hydrolysis of the β-lactam ring. In population studies, cephaloridine-resistant cells differed from methicillin-resistant cells in that they decreased in numbers as the drug concentration was increased, and the survivors in higher drug concentrations were no more resistant than was the parent strain. Treatment with acriflavine eliminated resistance of the cells to both penicillin G and cephaloridine. It was concluded that cephaloridine resistance was due to hydrolysis by penicillinase, and that this was related to the pyridine ring substitution in the cephalosporanic acid nucleus.

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