Multicenter evaluation of four methods of yeast inoculum preparation

M. A. Pfaller, L. Burmeister, M. S. Bartlett, M. G. Rinaldi

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370 Scopus citations


We initiated a comparative study of four methods of yeast inoculum preparation: a spectrophotometric method, the Wickerham card method, a hemacytometer method, and the Prompt inoculation system. The variability in inoculum size obtained when each method was applied to two strains each of Candida albicans, Candida tropicalis, Candida parapsilosis, Torulopsis glabrata, Cryptococcus neoformans, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae was analyzed in a single laboratory. Each method was performed in triplicate on the same day and on three separate days to provide estimates of within-day and between-day variations. Inoculum size was determined by viable colony count. The greatest range of inoculum sizes was seen with the Wickerham card method. Viable counts ranged from 1.1 x 106 to 24.2 x 106 CFU/ml among the 12 yeast isolates. The greatest variation was observed with the Prompt system. Within-day-coefficients of variation averaged 19% (range, 4 to 45%), and between-day coefficients of variation averaged 22% (range, 3 to 51%). Variation between laboratories was evaluated by comparing inoculum values obtained by each method in three different laboratories for two strains of C. albicans. The spectrophotometric method was the least variable and the Wickerham card and hemacytometer methods were the most variable methods between laboratories. The spectrophotometric method is recommended as the method of choice for preparation of a standardized inoculum suspension for susceptibility testing of yeasts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1437-1441
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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