Antibiotic sensitivity

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Antibiotic sensitivity Thin wafers containing antibiotic have been placed on an agar plate growing bacteria. Bacteria are not able to grow around antibiotics to which they are sensitive

Antibiotic sensitivity is a term used to describe the susceptibility of bacteria to antibiotics. Antibiotic susceptibility testing is usually carried out to determine which antibiotic will be most successful in treating a bacterial infection in vivo. Testing for antibiotic sensitivity is often done by the Kirby-Bauer method. Small wafers containing antibiotics are placed onto a plate upon which bacteria are growing. If the bacteria are sensitive to the antibiotic, a clear ring is seen around the wafer indicating poor growth. Other methods to test antimicrobial susceptibility include the Stokes method, E-test (also based on antibiotic diffusion). Agar and Broth dilution methods for MIC determination.

Ideal antibiotic therapy is based on determination of the aetiological agent and its relevant antibiotic sensitivity. Empiric treatment is often started before laboratory microbiological reports are available when treatment should not be delayed due to the seriousness of the disease. The effectiveness of individual antibiotics varies with the location of the infection, the ability of the antibiotic to reach the site of infection, and the ability of the bacteria to resist or inactivate the antibiotic. Some antibiotics actually kill the bacteria (bactericidal), whereas others merely prevent the bacteria from multiplying (bacteriostatic) so that the host's immune system can overcome them.


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