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Conventional and automated diagnostic methods
Published on January 13, 2010 29 min
A selection of talks on Clinical Practice
Behavioral medicine: what it is and what it does
- Dr. Gina Touch Mercer
- University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix, USA
The history and foundations of medical research ethics
- Prof. Dr. Christian Lenk
- Ulm University, Germany
I'm Dr. Alan Johnson. In this presentation, I'm going to give an overview of conventional and automated methods of anti-microbial susceptibility testing methods, commonly used in clinical microbiology laboratories.
It is well documented that patients with serious bacterial infections who are treated with antibiotics to which the infecting pathogen is not susceptible, have poorer clinical outcomes manifest by increased morbidity and mortality. In addition, such patients frequently have prolonged lengths of hospital stay with associated increase in the costs of their health care provision.
This slide shows a number of such studies with the percentage mortality listed on the horizontal axis, and that you will see, a reproducible finding from all of the studies was, in those patients who received inappropriate therapy, the degree of mortality was statistically significantly higher than in those patients for whom the therapy was appropriate.
Thus, anti-microbial susceptibility testing is an important part of the management of patients with infections. At the level of the individual patient, results of susceptibility testing can be used to target and guide the treatment. At a general level the accumulation of susceptibility testing data in individual laboratories means that it is possible to come up with empirical guidelines for the treatment of further patients based on the known likely pathogens, and their known levels of resistance or susceptibility to particular antimicrobial agents.
The underlying rationale for the laboratory testing of antimicrobial agents is to expose bacteria to these antibiotics under defined laboratory conditions, and to determine what effect, if any, the presence of the antibiotic has on the growth and survival of the organism.