A total of 438 strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa supplied by 10 hospitals in the UK reporting an increase in resistance to carbenicillin was tested for sensitivity to carbenicillin and ticarcillin. It was found that 85% of the strains were inhibited by 125 microgram carbenicillin/ml and 87% by 50 microgram ticarcillin/ml, and that ticarcillin was from two- to four-fold more active than carbenicillin against the majority of these strains. Strains with a high level of resistance to carbenicillin (MIC greater than 1000 microgram/ml) possessed constitutive beta-lactamases, and five different types of enzyme were identified. There was good correlation between minimum inhibitory concentrations and the results of disc sensitivity tests in this study, 82% with the 100 microgram carbenicillin disc and 90( with the 75 microgram ticarcillin disc, but results reported in the hospital laboratory tests with the carbenicillin disc were less satisfactory (64% correlation). From a comparison with data reported in 1967 there does not appear to have been a significant increase in the incidence of carbenicillin-resistant strains of Ps aeruginosa in the UK.
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