Comparison of automated microbroth dilution and agar dilution for antimicrobial susceptibility of Campylobacter jejuni isolated from dairy sources

Lisa W. Halbert, John B. Kaneene, Linda S. Mansfield, Pamela L. Ruegg, Lorin D. Warnick, Scott J. Wells, Chuck P. Fossler, Amy M. Campbell, Angela M. Geiger-Zwald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objectives: To compare the agreement between microbroth dilution and agar dilution for antimicrobial susceptibility testing of Campylobacter jejuni. Methods: Utilizing commercially prepared antimicrobial panels, microbroth dilution was compared with agar dilution for determining antimicrobial susceptibility in C. jejuni isolates. To assess the performance of both techniques for ampicillin, 190 C. jejuni isolates from dairy cattle were utilized. A group of 172 C. jejuni isolates from dairy sources were used to compare the susceptibility to ciprofloxacin, erythromycin, nalidixic acid and tetracycline. Results: Our results indicate that microbroth dilution and agar dilution agree within ±1 log2 dilution for 86.7% of the isolates tested. Ciprofloxacin had the highest level of agreement for isolates tested by both techniques, resulting in a kappa of 0.886 and 97.1% agreement ±1 log2 dilution. The least agreement was observed in determining the susceptibility of isolates to ampicillin and erythromycin (82.1 and 79.7% agreement ±1 log2 dilution). However, kappa statistics were considered to have good agreement for these antimicrobials. There were no significant differences in the summary statistics for any of the five antimicrobials evaluated for the isolates analysed by the percentage of resistant isolates, MIC50, MIC75 or MIC90 beyond ±1 log2 dilution. There was no association in the classification of resistance by the testing methods employed. We also demonstrated that the quality control strain of C. jejuni ATCC 33650 performed in a consistent manner for both agar dilution and microbroth dilution. Conclusions: Microbroth dilution may be an acceptable alternative to agar dilution for determining susceptibility of C. jejuni in research or surveillance where flow of samples, labour efficiency and cost may restrict the use of agar dilution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)686-691
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank RoseAnn Miller, Morgan Wallace, Katherine May and Robert Hanson for their technical assistance. This work was supported by USDA–NRI (Epidemiological Aspects of Food Safety), the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station and the Population Medicine Center.

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Antibiotic resistance
  • C. jejuni
  • Epidemiological surveillance

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