To assess the influence of incubation conditions on the resistance of this study compared the effect of micro-aerophilic and anaerobic incubation followed by micro-aerophilic incubation on the measurement of metronidazole resistance of 102 isolates, by both disk diffusion and Epsilometer (E)-tests. Anaerobic incubation for 24 h before micro-aerophilic incubation for 48 h consistently increased metronidazole activity in both assay methods. Although statistically significant, this was microbiologically less significant, as only 4 of 102 isolates gave discrepant readings (all four were resistant in micro-aerophilic conditions but susceptible in anaerobic/micro-aerophilic conditions). In all four cases variation was by a few millimeters in zone size (i.e., all were close to the cut-off point). There was 100% agreement between disk diffusion and E-test results. Of 104 observations (52 duplicate assays: 13 strains, two atmospheric conditions, two methods of determining resistance) there was 100% intra-observer and inter-observer agreement with regard to susceptibility and resistance status for both E-test and disk diffusion methods. Anaerobic incubation followed by micro-aerophilic incubation had little effect on the estimation of prevalence of metronidazole resistance and seemed to add little, if any, significant advantage over micro-aerophilic incubation alone.


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