Pioneering diagnostics

Bacterial identification and antibiotic susceptibility testing

An integral part of clinical decision-making, identifying bacteria and assessing their response to antibiotics is increasingly important due to the rise in multidrug resistant bacteria.

Every day, doctors use identification (ID) and antibiotic susceptibility test (AST) results to determine the antibiotic treatment that is most appropriate for the pathology and patient, and to monitor changes in bacterial resistance to antibiotics.


Why it’s important

  • Bacterial identification and antibiotic susceptibility testing play an essential role in patient care and the control of antibiotic resistance by:
    • Indicating which antibiotics are most likely to cure an infection,
    • Reducing the empirical prescription of "broad-spectrum" antibiotics, which are partly responsible for the rapid increase in antibiotic resistance,
    • avoiding the unnecessary prescription of antibiotics reduces healthcare costs.
  • ID/AST tests also play a role in epidemiological monitoring, making it possible to track changes in microbial resistance patterns in healthcare settings.

Bacterial identification

  • This test identifies the pathogen responsible for an infection.
  • Identification tests must be quick and reliable. Reducing time-to-results is important for:
    • improving patient care,
    • managing outbreaks,
    • fighting healthcare-associated infections.

Antibiotic susceptibility testing

  • Antibiotic susceptibility testing determines the susceptibility of a bacterial strain to a specific antibiotic or a panel of antibiotics.
    • The microorganism is placed in contact with the antibiotic(s) and the test reveals if the microorganism will grow or not in the presence of the antibiotic(s).
    • This information is reported to the clinician as the Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC), the measure of a microorganism’s susceptibility or resistance to an antibiotic.
  • Clinicians use antibiotic susceptibility test results to help determine the most appropriate treatment for the infection and the individual patient.
  • Antibiotic susceptibility testing can also be used to detect bacterial resistance to antibiotics.

bioMérieux's product offering

bioMérieux, world leader in ID/AST, has the broadest offer of automated and manual solutions.

  • Automated bacterial identification and antibiotic susceptibility testing: bioMérieux is the market leader with its VITEK® 2 range.
    • Results can be obtained as quickly as 3 to 7 hours thanks to the combination of analysis software and an original, miniaturized consumable, the VITEK 2 card, which is available for a wide range of antibiotics.
    • VITEK 2 identifies the vast majority of routine organisms (over 300 microorganisms).
    • For the more complex microorganisms, VITEK 2 can be combined with complementary manual methods:
      • The API® range for identification,
        • RAPIDEC® CARBA NP, the new test from the API® range, diagnoses the resistance of carbapenemase in less than two hours.
      • Etest® for antibiotic susceptibility testing.
    • A pioneer in the field of resistance interpretation software, bioMérieux has integrated the Advanced Expert System (AES™), the reference in its field, into the VITEK 2 platform. The AES systematically compares every MIC result to an extensive knowledge base providing validation of results.

The API gallery range, the gold standard for identification

API revolutionized microbiology when it was launched on the market in 1979. This highly trusted method allows the identification of all types of bacteria and yeast (approximately 800 strains).