Development of EUCAST disk diffusion method for susceptibility testing of the Bacteroides fragilis group isolates

on behalf of ESCMID Study Group on Anaerobic Infection

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19 Citations (Scopus)


With the emergence of antibiotic resistance among Bacteroides fragilis group isolates the need of susceptibility testing in routine laboratories is increasing. The aims of the present study were to evaluate the disk diffusion method for susceptibility testing in case of different clinical isolates of Bacteroides spp by comparing zone diameter results with MICs obtained earlier during an Europe-wide antibiotic susceptibility surveillance, and to propose zone diameter breakpoints, which correlate for the EUCAST MIC breakpoints. We tested 381 clinical isolates of the B.fragilis group to amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, cefoxitin, clindamycin, imipenem, metronidazole, moxifloxacin, piperacillin/tazobactam, tigecycline by agar dilution method previously. The inhibition zones of the same antibiotics including meropenem disc were determined by the disc diffusion on Brucella blood agar supplemented with haemin and vitamin K1. Plates were incubated at 37°C in an anaerobic atmosphere for 24h. The zone diameters were read at 100% inhibition. In case of discrepant results MICs were determined by gradient test and compared with the inhibition zones on the same plate. We found a good agreement between the inhibition zone diameters and the MICs for imipenem, metronidazole, moxifloxacin and tigecyclin. The inhibition zone diameters of meropenem also separated clearly the isolates, which can be considered wild-type isolates. In case of amoxicillin/clavulanic acid and piperacillin/tazobactam intermediate and susceptible isolates according to the MIC determination, overlap during the zone diameter determination. Isolates with an inhibition zone <23mm for amoxicillin/clavulanic acid and <25mm for piperacillin/tazobactam should be retested by a MIC determination method. The 10μg clindamycin disc clearly separated the resistant and the susceptible population of B.fragilis group strains. In the case of cefoxitin only resistant population could be separated with an inhibition zone <17mm, intermediate and susceptible isolates overlap. In conclusion, we suggest that disk diffusion can be an option for susceptibility testing of B.fragilis group isolates for most relevant antibiotics in routine laboratories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-71
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2015


  • Bacteroides fragilis group
  • Breakpoints
  • Disc diffusion
  • MIC determination
  • Susceptibility testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases

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