Development of interpretive criteria and quality control limits for broth microdilution and disk diffusion antimicrobial susceptibility testing of Streptococcus pneumoniae

J. H. Jorgensen, J. M. Swenson, F. C. Tenover, M. J. Ferraro, J. A. Hindler, P. R. Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Scopus citations


A five-center collaborative study was undertaken to develop quality control and specific interpretive criteria for susceptibility testing of Streptococcus pneumoniae against 12 antimicrobial agents. MICs were determined for 248 pneumococcal clinical isolates (with an emphasis on resistant strains) by use of the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards (NCCLS)-recommended broth microdilution procedure incorporating lysed horse blood-supplemented Mueller-Hinton broth. NCCLS disk diffusion testing was also performed for each isolate by using Mueller-Hinton sheep blood agar incubated in 5% CO2. Repetitive testing of S. pneumoniae ATCC 49619 with different sources and lots of media and disks allowed development of quality control ranges which encompassed approximately 95% of MIC and zone size values observed in the study. Good intra- and interlaboratory reproducibilities were seen with these testing methods and all of the drugs examined. On the basis of the results of this study, MIC interpretive criteria are proposed for 11 agents. Comparisons of MICs and disk diffusion zone sizes allowed disk diffusion zone size interpretive criteria to be proposed for five drugs and confirmed the use of the oxacillin disk test for prediction of penicillin susceptibility among pneumococci. Excessive numbers of minor-category interpretive errors precludes recommendation at this time of the disk diffusion method for testing of pneumococci against five of the drugs. Use of these proposed quality control and interpretive criteria should provide for reproducible test results and allow recognition of recently emerging resistance among pneumococcal clinical isolates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2448-2459
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1994


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)

Cite this