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A Comprehensive Review of the Present and Future Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing (AST) Systems

Tools and instruments available in the clinical microbiology labs for analysis of patient samples and diagnosis are constantly evolving. The main impetus behind this is to decrease the overall time taken to obtain the results from the instruments, enhance the ease of sample processing, increasing the sample turn-around time with the ultimate goal of earlier patient treatment and better recovery rates. This is especially true in the case of antibiotic susceptibility testing (AST), where every hour saved in obtaining the results leading to an earlier switch to targeted antibiotic therapy will have a direct influence on improving clinical outcomes. Reduction in the time to obtain AST results reduces the duration of use of broad-spectrum antibiotics, which in turn decreases the emergence of antibiotic resistance among bacteria. Many of the traditional methods available for AST are labor intensive and slow despite being precise in obtaining results. Thus, there is a trend towards development and use of automated diagnostic devices which are rapid and easy to use. This review article provides a detailed summary of traditional AST methods, currently used automated methods, and focuses on some of the promising emerging and future technologies in the field of rapid antibiotic susceptibility profiling.


Sachidevi Puttaswamy, Sagar Kishore Gupta, Hariharan Regunath, Leo Patrick Smith and Shramik Sengupta

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