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Appl Microbiol. 1966 Mar;14(2):170-7.

Simplified, accurate method for antibiotic assay of clinical specimens.


Large glass plates are used for this modified agar-well diffusion assay method, allowing up to 81 replications on a single plate. With a specially designed agar punch, it is possible to prepare the small agar wells very quickly. The saving in serum resulting from fewer replications of standards with the large plates, and the small volume of the agar wells, makes it economically feasible to use pooled human serum for the standard antibiotic solutions. Methods are described for preparing the standard solutions, and for providing controls for the deterioration of standards and unknowns. Procedures for preparing and maintaining the commonly used assay organisms are presented. Serum specimens are tested directly rather than diluting them to a narrow range of antibiotic concentrations. This is possible because of a procedure for calculations that recognizes the curvilinear relationship between zone sizes and antibiotic concentrations. Adaptation of this method to a number of the commonly used antibiotics is described. With this method, it has been possible to test large numbers of clinical specimens in a minimal time, and with accuracy consistently better than 10%.

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