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J Clin Lab Anal. 2009;23(5):324-30. doi: 10.1002/jcla.20337.

Correlation between Etest, disk diffusion, and microdilution methods for antifungal susceptibility testing of Candida species from infection and colonization.

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Centre of Biological Engineering, Institute for Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Universidade do Minho, Braga, Portugal.


The correlation between the microdilution (MD), Etest (ET), and disk diffusion (DD) methods was determined for amphotericin B, itraconazole and fluconazole. The minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of those antifungal agents was established for a total of 70 Candida spp. isolates from colonization and infection. The species distribution was: Candida albicans (n=27), C. tropicalis (n=17), C. glabrata (n=16), C. parapsilosis (n=8), and C. lusitaniae (n=2). Non-Candida albicans Candida species showed higher MICs for the three antifungal agents when compared with C. albicans isolates. The overall concordance (based on the MIC value obtained within two dilutions) between the ET and the MD method was 83% for amphotericin B, 63% for itraconazole, and 64% for fluconazole. Considering the breakpoint, the agreement between the DD and MD methods was 71% for itraconazole and 67% for fluconazole. The DD zone diameters are highly reproducible and correlate well with the MD method, making agar-based methods a viable alternative to MD for susceptibility testing. However, data on agar-based tests for itraconazole and amphotericin B are yet scarce. Thus, further research must still be carried out to ensure the standardization to other antifungal agents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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