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J Appl Microbiol. 2000 May;88(5):784-90.

Susceptibility testing: accurate and reproducible minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and non-inhibitory concentration (NIC) values.

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Unilever Research Colworth, Sharnbrook, UK.


Measuring the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of a substance by current methods is straightforward, whereas obtaining useful comparative information from the tests can be more difficult. A simple technique and a method of data analysis are reported which give the experimentalist more useful information from susceptibility testing. This method makes use of a 100-well microtitre plate and the analysis uses all the growth information, obtained by turbidometry, from each and every well of the microtitre plate. A modified Gompertz function is used to fit the data, from which a more exact value can be obtained for the MIC. The technique also showed that at certain concentrations of inhibitor, there was no effect on growth relative to a control well (zero inhibitor). Above a threshold value, which has been termed the non-inhibitory concentration or NIC, growth becomes limiting until it reaches the MIC, where no growth relative to the control is observed.

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