Evaluation of broth disk elusion methods for susceptibility testing of anaerobic bacteria with the newer β-lactam antibiotics

J. H. Jorgensen, J. S. Redding, A. W. Howell

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13 Scopus citations


Broth disk elution procedures represent one of the most practical means for clinical laboratories to perform routine antibiotic susceptibility tests on anaerobic bacteria. The accuracy of five disk elution test methods and media (including the one to be proposed by the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards) was evaluated for the testing of newer beta-lactam antibiotics, including cefoperazone, cefotaxime, cefoxitin, ceftazidime, ceftizoxime moxalactam, and piperacillin. Various numbers of antibiotic disks were used to achieve disk elution test concentrations which approximated the highest MIC termed susceptible by the Food and Drug Administration. A group of 88 anaerobes representing many different species was tested in parallel by the five disk elution methods and the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards reference agar dilution procedure. Overall, full agreement between the reference agar dilution MICs and the disk elution category results was 88.3% for PRAS BHI, 84.5% for Schaedler, 85.7% for thioglycolate, and 87.4% for Wilkins-Chalgren broth. Essential agreement (±1 twofold MIC increment from the disk elution concentration) was achieved with 94.6% of PRAS BHI tests, 94.3% of Schaedler tests, 93.6% of thioglycolate tests, and 95.7% of Wilkins-Chalgren tests. Due to Growth failures with a number of isolates and difficulties in interpreting results, the use of Wilkins-West broth was discontinued after approximately one-half of the isolates had been tested. The majority of errors with all of the disk elution methods occurred with isolates (most notably members of the Bacteroides fragilis group) having MICs near the single test concentrations used in the disk methods. With the notable exception of tests for the B. fragilis group, the disk elution methods offered acceptable accuracy with the newer beta-lactam antibiotics tested in this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)545-550
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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