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Antimicrobial susceptibility testing in Sweden. III. Methodology for susceptibility testing.

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Department of Bacteriology, Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control, Stockholm, Sweden.


A subcommittee of the Swedish Reference Group for Antibiotics, SRGA-M, has worked with standardization of methodology for susceptibility testing. In vitro data obtained with the disk diffusion procedure were collected from 5 clinical laboratories, compiled and presented as histograms of inhibition zones, and compared with data [minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and inhibition zones] obtained from the reference laboratory at the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control on a collection of clinically relevant bacterial species. Results from the reference collection of strains were presented as MIC histograms, and their corresponding inhibition zones were inserted in the compiled zone histograms as identifiable bars. These distributions formed the basis for decisions of breakpoints. Special tests were recommended for the detection of certain resistance mechanisms. A beta-lactamase test should be used for Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae and enterococci. Screening for beta-lactam resistance caused by altered penicillin binding proteins should be done by using oxacillin 1 microgram for Streptococcus pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and by phenoxymethylpenicillin 10 micrograms for H, influenzae. The standardized disk diffusion procedure was helpful in detecting enterobacteria carrying beta-lactamases with extended spectra. Registration of inhibition zones will provide a powerful tool for the epidemiological surveillance of antibiotic resistance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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