Molecular antibiogram in diagnostic clinical microbiology: advantages and challenges

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Antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) is a key activity in diagnostic microbiology. AST is based on testing the ability of antimicrobial agents to inhibit the growth of clinical isolates under standardized experimental conditions (antibiogram), which can be performed by various methods including broth microdilution, agar dilution, disk diffusion and gradient strip diffusion. The results of antibiogram are read as minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) or growth inhibition zone diameters around disks, and then translated into susceptibility categories according the clinical breakpoints defined by various Committees (e.g., CLSI, EUCAST). AST results are used to predict clinical efficacy of the tested antibiotics and to guide both definitive and empiric antimicrobial chemotherapy, when taken on an individual basis or on a cumulative basis representing the local epidemiology of antimicrobial susceptibility patterns, respectively [1].

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