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Ann Pharmacother. 2002 Mar;36(3):416-22.

Broth microdilution and E-test for determining fluoroquinolone activity against Streptococcus pneumoniae.

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  • 1School of Pharmacy and Pharmacal Sciences, Purdue University, Indianapolis, IN 46202-2879, USA.



To compare broth microdilution and E-test minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of 4 fluoroquinolones against Streptococcus pneumoniae and to determine the effect of these in vitro MIC methods on the calculation of AUC00-24/MIC ratios.


Levofloxacin, gatifloxacin, moxifloxacin, and gemifloxacin MICs were determined by broth microdilution (incubated in air) and E-test (incubated in CO2) for 100 clinical isolates of S. pneumoniae. MIC50, MIC90, and geometric mean MIC were calculated. Steady-state serum concentration-time profiles were simulated for once-daily, oral dosing of levofloxacin 500 mg, gatifloxacin 400 mg, moxifloxacin 400 mg, and gemifloxacin 320 mg. After correcting for protein binding, AUC0-24 of unbound drug was calculated for each regimen, and AUC0-24/MIC ratios were calculated using MIC data from both in vitro methods. Differences in MICs between methods were determined for each agent using the paired t-test (after logarithmic transformation of MICs) and the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Differences in AUC0-24/MIC ratios were also determined using the paired t-test and the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. The level of significance for all analyses was p < 0.05.


Broth microdilution and E-test MICs were within +/- 1 log2 dilution for 94%, 93%, 61%, and 35% of the isolates for levofloxacin, gatifloxacin, moxifloxacin, and gemifloxacin, respectively. Broth microdilution MICs were significantly lower than E-test MICs for all 4 agents (p < 0.001). However, a categorical change in susceptibility was seen for only 1 isolate with gatifloxacin and moxifloxacin (intermediate by broth microdilution, resistant by E-test). AUC0-24/MIC ratios were significantly higher for each regimen when MICs were determined by broth microdilution compared with E-test (p < 0.001).


There is a significant difference in the activity of the newer fluoroquinolones against S. pneumoniae when MICs are determined by broth microdilution and E-test. When evaluating fluoroquinolone activity and pharmacodynamics against this organism, clinicians must be aware that MIC testing methodology may have a significant impact on the results.

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