Antimicrobial susceptibility testing: A review of general principles and contemporary practices

James H. Jorgensen, Mary Jane Ferraro

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

666 Scopus citations

Abstract

An important task of the clinical microbiology laboratory is the performance of antimicrobial susceptibility testing of significant bacterial isolates. The goals of testing are to detect possible drug resistance in common pathogens and to assure susceptibility to drugs of choice for particular infections. The most widely used testing methods include broth microdilution or rapid automated instrument methods that use commercially marketed materials and devices. Manual methods that provide flexibility and possible cost savings include the disk diffusion and gradient diffusion methods. Each method has strengths and weaknesses, including organisms that may be accurately tested by the method. Some methods provide quantitative results (eg, minimum inhibitory concentration), and all provide qualitative assessments using the categories susceptible, intermediate, or resistant. In general, current testing methods provide accurate detection of common antimicrobial resistance mechanisms. However, newer or emerging mechanisms of resistance require constant vigilance regarding the ability of each test method to accurately detect resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1749-1755
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Volume49
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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