The stability, accuracy, reproducibility, and predictive value of Sensititre MIC panels containing meropenem (Merrem) were evaluated by using National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards (NCCLS)-recommended American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) strains and 110 selected strains of rapidly growing and fastidious aerobes and anaerobes with various degrees of susceptibility to meropenem. The NCCLS-recommended agar dilution method was used as a standard reference method. Meropenem-containing Sensititre MIC panels were monitored for their stabilities at room temperature and reproducibilities over 24 months by using six ATCC strains. Ninety-nine percent of the MICs of both meropenem and imipenem obtained for NCCLS-recommended ATCC strains were within the established ranges after 2 years. The overall agreement (+/-1 twofold dilution) between the Sensititre and the agar dilution meropenem MICs was greater than 93%. The predictive value of meropenem MICs for indicating susceptibility or resistance obtained by the Sensititre method was greater than 90%. No major or very major interpretive errors were observed, and only 5% of meropenem MICs were associated with minor interpretive errors. Problematic organisms were not observed. The Sensititre MIC panels containing meropenem offer a convenient and valid alternative to the NCCLS reference method for the susceptibility testing of potential pathogens likely to be recovered from mixed infections.
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