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J Clin Microbiol. Jul 1997; 35(7): 1842–1846.
PMCID: PMC229853

Comparative evaluation of the E test, agar dilution, and broth microdilution for testing susceptibilities of Helicobacter pylori strains to 20 antimicrobial agents.

Abstract

The Epsilometer test (E test; AB Biodisk, Solna, Sweden), a new quantitative technique for the determination of antimicrobial susceptibility, was compared to reference methods (agar dilution and broth microdilution) for the antimicrobial susceptibility testing of Helicobacter pylori. Seventy-one H. pylori strains isolated from patients with duodenal ulcers were tested against 20 antimicrobial agents. The E test and the agar dilution method were carried out on Mueller-Hinton agar; the broth microdilution method was performed with Mueller-Hinton broth. The E-test results showed excellent correlation with the agar dilution results, with 91.3 and 98.8% agreement within 1 and 2 log2 dilution steps, respectively, in a total of 1,350 tests. The correlation between the E-test results and the broth microdilution results was slightly higher, with 91.6 and 99.1% agreement within 1 and 2 log2 dilution steps, respectively, in a total of 1,317 tests. There were six major errors and two very major errors by the metronidazole E test compared to the results obtained by reference methods. Excellent agreement between E-test, agar dilution, and broth microdilution results was found for resistance to erythromycin (8%), clarithromycin (6%), and tetracycline (6%). Our results confirm that the E test is comparable to standardized methods for susceptibility testing. Therefore, the E test is a reliable and alternative method for testing H. pylori susceptibility to a wide range of antimicrobial agents in clinical practice.

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Selected References

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