Development of the quantitative micro-test for slime production by coagulase-negative staphylococci

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The macro-test for slime production by coagulase-negative staphylococci was adapted to a spectrophotometric micro-test assay to obtain more objective and quantitative information on slime production. A total of 135 isolates of coagulase-negative staphylococci (70 macro-test-positive and 65 macro-test-negative) were tested by both methods. The quantitative micro-test optical density readings were (mean ±SD) 1.176 ± 0.294 and 0.130 ± 0.095 for the macro-test-positive and -negative groups, respectively. The micro-test was reproducible and demonstrated quantitative differences in slime production among the different species of coagulase-negative staphylococci. Aside fromStaphylococcus epidermidis, the majority of the coagulase-negative staphylococci had very low optical density readings, indicating little or no slime production under the conditions employed in this assay. This test allows one to study the relative production of slime by different strains and species of coagulase-negative staphylococci, and may be useful in studying the effects of different conditions, such as antibiotic exposure, on slime production.