In studies which have involved determination of fractional inhibitory concentrations, synergy has been described between the 4-quinolones, which inhibit the A subunit of DNA gyrase, and either coumermycin or novobiocin, which inhibit the B subunit of the same enzyme. In this study, fixed concentrations of ciprofloxacin or ofloxacin were combined with varying concentrations of coumermycin or novobiocin and in nutrient broth. The bactericidal activities of the different mixtures against either E3T or were determined and found to be less than those of equivalent concentrations of either 4-quinolone alone. The observation that gyrase B subunit inhibitors antagonised the bactericidal activity of 4-quinolones is in accordance with the report previously made by others that ciprofloxacin combined with coumermycin was less effective than ciprofloxacin alone in treating staphylococcal endocarditis in rats. Our results indicate that both inhibitory and bactericidal activity should be taken into account when assessing possible interactions between 4-quinolones and other antimicrobial agents.


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