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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1995 Mar;39(3):754-6.

Bioluminescence method to evaluate antimicrobial agents against Mycobacterium avium.

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Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


Plasmid pLUC10, carrying the firefly luciferase gene, was transformed by electroporation into Mycobacterium avium A5. Bioluminescence production by strain A5(pLUC10), as measured in a microdilution plate luminometer, was approximately 1 relative light unit per 2 x 10(6) viable bacilli, whereas it was 0.0005 relative light unit for an equal number of parental cells. The susceptibility of strain A5(pLUC10) to eight concentrations of each of eight antimicrobial agents was evaluated by the luciferase microplate assay in parallel with a conventional broth macrodilution method with antimicrobial agents. Decreases in bioluminescence to levels that were < or = 10% of those of drug-free controls were observed in microplate wells containing inhibitory concentrations of drugs in as few as 3 days. The close correlation of these inhibitory concentrations with the MICs determined by a conventional broth macrodilution method suggests that the luciferase microplate method may offer a convenient and reliable means of evaluating the in vitro activities of antimicrobial agents against the M. avium complex.

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