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J Antimicrob Chemother. 1993 Jan;31(1):47-55.

Effect of divalent cations in bacteriological media on the susceptibility of Xanthomonas maltophilia to imipenem, with special reference to zinc ions.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Leeds, UK.


The susceptibility of Xanthomonas maltophilia strains to beta-lactams is known to vary according to the type of growth media used. We have assayed the divalent cation content of various susceptibility testing media and correlated this with the susceptibility to imipenem of 30 strains of X. maltophilia, by calculating the IC50. No correlation was found with Ca++ and Mg++ content (r = 0.005, P = 0.99), but a highly significant correlation with the Zn++ content (7.7-42.7 mumol/L) of the medium was found (r = 0.93, P = 0.003). The effect of Zn++ on the susceptibility of X. maltophilia to imipenem was further investigated by adding varying amounts of zinc sulphate to Oxoid Mueller-Hinton agar which has a low Zn++ content (14.2 mumol/L). A highly significant correlation between the Zn++ content and the IC50 was observed (r = 0.95, P = 0.001). Some variability was seen from one series of IC50 determinations to another and samples of ultra-pure water were processed in exactly the same fashion as the agar media and then assayed for cation content. No significant increase in Ca++ or Mg++ content of the water were observed but water autoclaved in universal containers with metal caps and rubber washers acquired up to 40 mumol/L of Zn++. Studies of the correlation between in-vitro sensitivity tests and the clinical performance of beta-lactams used against X. maltophilia will need to take account of the Zn++ content of the susceptibility testing media used.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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