We determined the fluconazole MICs for 101 clinical isolates of Candida and Cryptococcus neoformans using the macro- and microdilution methods recommended by the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards. We compared the MICs obtained by these methods with those obtained by a photometric assay that quantified the reduction of 3-(4,5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2,5-diphenyl-2H-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) by viable fungi. The MIC determined by this method was defined as the highest fluconazole concentration associated with the first precipitous drop in optical density. For Candida, both the MTT and the microdilution methods demonstrated excellent agreement with the standard macrodilution method. The MTT method, however, generated MICs at 24 h that were comparable to those generated by the standard macrodilution method, whereas the microdilution method required 48 h. For C. neoformans, the levels of agreement between the MICs determined by the MTT and microdilution methods after 48 h and those determined by the standard 72-h macrodilution method were 94% (29 of 31) and 94% (29 of 31), respectively. The MTT method therefore provided results comparable to those of currently recommended methods and had the advantages of a more rapid turnaround time and potential adaptability to use as an automated system. Furthermore, the MICs determined by the MTT method were determined photometrically, thereby eliminating reader bias
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