Disk Susceptibility Testing of Slow-Growing Anaerobic Bacteria


The susceptibility of 55 strains of slow-growing anaerobes to eight clinically useful or potentially useful antibiotics was determined by agar dilution and disk diffusion tests. Strains of the genera Peptococcus, Peptostreptococcus, Megasphaera, Veillonella, Eubacterium, Bifidobacterium, Clostridium, and Fusobacterium were included. All strains were susceptible to chloramphenicol, but varied in their susceptibility to penicillin, lincomycin, clindamycin, tetracyclines, and vancomycin. Correlation between minimal inhibitory concentration and inhibition zone diameters was generally good. Prediction of susceptibility based on zone diameter measurements appeared satisfactory. Although routine susceptibility testing of anaerobic bacteria is not recommended, there are circumstances where such testing is relevant to the clinical situation. For those laboratories ill-equipped to do dilution tests, a disk diffusion test would give relatively accurate preliminary information. Quantitative susceptibility tests could then be done by a reference laboratory.

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