We review reproducibility results for methods that test antimicrobial efficacy against biofilms, spores and bacteria dried onto a surface. Our review, that included test results for Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella choleraesuis and Bacillus subtilis, suggests that the level of reproducibility depends on the efficacy of the antimicrobial agent being tested for each microbe and microbial environment. To determine the reproducibility of a method, several laboratories must independently test the same antimicrobial agent using the method. Little variability among the efficacy results suggests good reproducibility. Such reproducibility assessments currently are hampered by the absence of an objective process for deciding whether the variability is sufficiently small. We present a quantitative decision process that objectively determines whether any method that assesses antimicrobial efficacy is reproducible. Because the perception of acceptable reproducibility may differ among stakeholders, the decision process is governed by a stakeholder's specifications that necessarily includes the efficacy of the agents to be tested.
Parker, Albert E., Martin A. Hamilton, and Darla M. Goeres. “Reproducibility of Antimicrobial Test Methods.” Scientific Reports 8, no. 1 (August 22, 2018). doi:10.1038/s41598-018-30282-3.