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Bactericidal action of nafcillin, vancomycin, and three cephalosporins against nafcillin-susceptible and nafcillin-resistant coagulase-negative staphylococci


Coagulase-negative staphylococci (S. epidermidis, 43 strains; S. warneri, 16 strains; S. haemolyticus, five strains; and others, four strains) were tested by the agar dilution method for nafcillin susceptibility: 53 were susceptible with a minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of less than or equal to 2 micrograms/ml; four were of indeterminate susceptibility, MIC = 4-16 micrograms/ml; and 11 were resistant, MIC greater than or equal to 32 micrograms/ml. The bactericidal activities from 0 to 24 hr for nafcillin, vancomycin, cephalothin, cefazolin, and cefamandole, each at 16 micrograms/ml in broth, were determined for all the isolates. The data indicate that a nafcillin agar dilution susceptibility test result of resistance does not consistently predict lack of killing activity by the cephalosporins. It is likely that each cephalosporin would have to be tested against individual coagulase-negative staphylococci in order to determine a suitable therapeutic or prophylactic cephalosporin, if a cephalosporin were to be used. Vancomycin was bactericidal for all the nafcillin-resistant coagulase-negative organisms tested.

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