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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 40-45
Clinical Study

In Vitro Susceptibility Testing of Clinical Isolates of Chlamydia trachomatis

1Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA
2Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The University of Texas Medical Branch, 3.108 Old Children's Hospital, Galveston 77550, TX, USA

Received 15 January 1993; Accepted 21 January 1993

Copyright © 1993 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Penicillin class antibiotics have demonstrated varying degrees of in vivo and in vitro success when tested against Chlamydia trachomatis. The activity of ampicillin-sulbactam, an agent commonly utilized in the treatment of pelvic infections, was tested to ascertain if any antichlamydial activity is present. Up to six endocervical isolates of C. trachomatis were tested against each of five antibiotics including doxycycline, erythromycin, clindamycin, ampicillin/sulbactam, and sulbactam alone. McCoy cell monolayers were inoculated with high inclusion counts of 10,000–30,000 inclusion-forming units (IFU) per coverslip, and exposed to each antibiotic. Up to nine subsequent antibiotic free culture passes were performed to assess the viability of abnormal inclusions. Doxycycline, erythromycin, and clindamycin achieved 100% eradication of inclusions at concentrations of 4.0, 2.0, and 1.0 µg/mL. Exposure to ampicillin/sulbactam resulted in a greater than 99% reduction in the inclusion count at 32.0 µg/mL, while sulbactam by itself demonstrated considerably less activity. Abnormal inclusions were noted only in the ampicillin/sulbactam exposed cells, and these, plus all inclusions remaining following sublethal exposure to the other antibiotics, resulted in regrowth to control levels in subsequent passes. Doxycycline and erythromycin demonstrated excellent activity. Clindamycin and ampicillin/sulbactam also significantly reduced inclusion formation, and therefore may provide adequate C. trachomatis coverage in patients receiving these antibiotics for pelvic infections.