Fifty-two strains of were examined for production of chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) by a rapid technique based upon induction of enzyme activity and chemical assay. This method was compared with one measuring the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) by agar dilution and a diffusion test with disks containing 10 g, 30 g and 50 g of chloramphenicol. The MIC for 13 chloramphenicol-resistant strains was 16 mg/L and for 39 sensitive strains ≤4 mg/L. The chemical assay clearly distinguished resistant from sensitive strains; it was technically simple and provided results within 90 min. The distinction between sensitive and resistant bacteria in the disk diffusion assay was clearer with 10-g than with 30-g and 50-g disks. However, the chemical CAT assay, with enzyme induction, is recommended when a rapid result is required.


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