Development of doxycycline MIC and disk diffusion interpretive breakpoints and revision of tetracycline breakpoints for Streptococcus pneumoniae

Steven D. Dallas, Lesley McGee, Brandi Limbago, Jean B. Patel, M. Leticia McElmeel, Letitia C. Fulcher, David R. Lonsway, James H Jorgensen

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12 Scopus citations


A study was performed to derive susceptibility testing interpretive breakpoints for doxycycline with Streptococcus pneumoniae and to reassess breakpoints for tetracycline using the requirements defined in Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) document M23-A3. Tetracycline and doxycycline MICs and disk diffusion zone sizes were determined on 189 isolates selected from the 2009-2010 CDC Active Bacterial Core surveillance strain collection according to the testing methods described in CLSI documents M07-A8 and M02-A10. Tetracycline and doxycycline MICs and zones were compared to each other directly, and the reproducibility of MICs and zone diameters for both drugs was determined. Scattergrams of tetracycline MICs versus corresponding zone diameters and doxycycline MICs versus zones were prepared, and analysis indicated that the present CLSI tetracycline MIC and disk breakpoints did not fit the susceptibility data for doxycycline. Doxycycline was 1 to 3 dilutions more potent than tetracycline, especially in strains harboring the tetM resistance determinant. tetM was detected in ≥90% of isolates having tetracycline MICs of ≥4 μg/ml and in ≥90% with doxycycline MICs of ≥1. Limited pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) data coupled with application of the error-rate bounded method of analysis suggested doxycycline-susceptible breakpoints of either ≤0.25 μg/ml or ≤0.5 μg/ml, with intermediate and resistant breakpoints 1 and 2 dilutions higher, respectively. The disk diffusion zone diameter correlates were susceptible at ≥28 mm, intermediate at 25 to 27 mm, and resistant at ≤24 mm. Revised lower tetracycline MIC breakpoints were suggested as susceptible at ≤1 μg/ml, intermediate at 2 μg/ml, and resistant at ≥4 μg/ml. Suggested tetracycline disk diffusion zones were identical to those of doxycycline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1798-1802
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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