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Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 1993 Aug-Sep;17(2):171-5.

In vitro activity of ampicillin, amoxicillin, ampicillin-sulbactam, and amoxicillin-clavulanic acid against consecutive clinical isolates of Enterobacteriaceae.

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St. Vincent Hospital and Medical Center, Portland, OR 97225.


Ampicillin was generally twice as active as amoxicillin against 2440 consecutive isolates of Enterobacteriaceae from five medical centers. When beta-lactamase inhibitors were added to the penicillins, there was a significant increase in susceptibility. The magnitude of the increased susceptibility to ampicillin-sulbactam (A-S) and amoxicillin-clavulanic (A-C) acid varied with the species and types of beta-lactamases elaborated. Although cross-susceptibility and cross-resistance between ampicillin and amoxicillin was nearly complete, major differences were documented between A-S and A-C with 6.7% of our consecutive isolates of Enterobacteriaceae. The clinical significance of these findings remains uncertain, but they may help explain some of the discrepancies occasionally observed by clinical microbiologists with the combination drugs.

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