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Standard Nutrient Agar 1 as a substitute for blood-supplemented Müller–Hinton agar for antibiograms in developing countries

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An Erratum to this article was published on 14 December 2012


In the industrial world, the agar diffusion test is a standard procedure for the susceptibility testing of bacteria isolates. Beta-hemolytic Streptococcus spp. are tested with Müller–Hinton agar supplemented with 5 % blood, a so-called blood agar. The results are interpreted using standardized tables, which only exist for this type of nutrient matrix. Because of a number difficulties, both with respect to technical issues and to manual skills, blood agar is not a feasible option in many developing countries. Beta-hemolytic Streptococcus spp. also grow on Standard Nutrient Agar 1 (StNA1). This suggests using that type of nutrient medium for running agar diffusion tests. However, there are no standardized tables that can be used for interpreting the diameters of the zones of inhibition on StNA1 1. Using the existing standardized tables for blood agar to interpret cultures on StNA1 1 would be of great benefit under such circumstances where blood agar is not available. With this in mind, we conducted comparative tests to evaluate the growth characteristics of beta-hemolytic Streptococcus spp. on StNA1 1 compared to Müller–Hinton agar supplemented with 5 % sheep blood. In this study, we were able to show that beta-hemolytic Streptococcus spp. develop similar zones of inhibition on blood agar and on StNA1 1. Therefore, it is suggested that, for the interpretation of antibiograms of beta-hemolytic Streptococcus spp. performed on StNA1 1, the standard tables for blood agar can be used.

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  1. CIP is not recommended for treating beta-hemolytic Streptococcus spp., but in this study, we analyzed and compared the growth behavior of these bacteria, not their resistances. For this reason, we decided to check also an antibiotic not common for treating beta-hemolytic Streptococcus spp.


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Correspondence to N. Niederstebruch.

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Niederstebruch, N., Sixt, D. Standard Nutrient Agar 1 as a substitute for blood-supplemented Müller–Hinton agar for antibiograms in developing countries. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 32, 237–241 (2013).

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