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Comparative in vitro study of the antimicrobial activities of different commercial antibiotic products for intravenous administration

Edelberto Silva*, Jorge A Díaz, María J Arias, Angela P Hernández and Andrés de la Torre

Author Affiliations

UNIVERSIDAD NACIONAL DE COLOMBIA, FACULTAD DE CIENCIAS, DEPARTAMENTO DE FARMACIA, Laboratorio de Asesorías e Investigaciones en Microbiología. Postal Code: 472. Ciudad Universitaria. Carrera 30 Calle 45. A.A. 14490, Bogotá D. C., Colombia

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BMC Clinical Pharmacology 2010, 10:3  doi:10.1186/1472-6904-10-3

Published: 29 January 2010



The antimicrobial resistance is a global problem, probably due to the indiscriminate and irrational use of antibiotics, prescriptions for incorrect medicines or incorrect determinations of dose, route and/or duration. Another consideration is the uncertainty of patients receiving antibiotics about whether the quality of a generic medicine is equal to, greater than or less than its equivalent brand-name drug. The antibiotics behaviors must be evaluated in vitro and in vivo in order to confirm their suitability for therapeutic use.


The antimicrobial activities of Meropenem and Piperacillin/Tazobactam were studied by microbiological assays to determine their potencies (content), minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs), critical concentrations and capacity to produce spontaneous drug-resistant mutants.


With respect to potency (content) all the products fulfill USP requirements, so they should all be considered pharmaceutical equivalents. The MIC values of the samples evaluated (trade marks and generics) were the same for each strain tested, indicating that all products behaved similarly. The critical concentration values were very similar for all samples, and the ratios between the critical concentration of the standard and those of each sample were similar to the ratios of their specific antibiotic contents. Overall, therefore, the results showed no significant differences among samples. Finally, the production of spontaneous mutants did not differ significantly among the samples evaluated.


All the samples are pharmaceutical equivalents and the products can be used in antimicrobial therapy.