True MIC Testing Coming to Knutton Lab

We are pleased to announce that we are introducing SensititreTM true MIC testing on all bacterial isolates from all sites at our Knutton Microbiology Laboratory.

MIC testing, as opposed to results from Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion methods, give a more accurate guide to whether an organism is likely to be clinically responsive to treatment with an antimicrobial. The accuracy of the testing, and its interpretation, is significantly improved over disk diffusion testing, not least because almost all the subjectivity inherent in the disk diffusion assay is removed.

Moreover, while interpretive data for all organism/drug combinations is not available for disk diffusion methods, there is considerably greater availability of MIC data.

Moreover, while interpretive data for all organism/drug combinations is not available for disk diffusion methods, there is considerably greater availability of MIC data.

Importantly, not only will the results be more accurate and meaningful, but there will be no effect on the already rapid turn-around time: >98% of all culture and sensitivity test requests we receive are reported at 48 hours following receipt of the sample, including at weekends and Bank Holidays.

This is important because, while many might consider microbiology to be a drawn-out process (which oftentimes is considered a poor relative of other branches of pathology), having access to results that are reported rapidly is paramount in aiding the clinician in choosing an appropriate antimicrobial for treatment, thereby supporting the principle of proper antimicrobial stewardship and helping prevent the development and spread of multi-drug resistant bacteria.

This methodology also utilises true MIC and not extrapolated (sometimes referred to as ‘predictive’) [MIC] results, which is essential in fighting antimicrobial resistance for a number of reasons, including:

  • Greater sensitivity; this method provides better antimicrobial resistance tracking.
  • It gives the best measure of antibacterial effect, and therefore assists with therapeutic antimicrobial choices.
  • The micro-broth dilution test, which is the basis of this methodology, represents the ‘gold standard’ in MIC testing.
  • The assay provides superior quality and reproducibility, with accurate results first time and without the need for retests
  • It is the methodology of choice for global surveillance programmes, including those coordinated through the (US) FDA-CVM, USDA & CDC.

We will be employing a two-tiered system, the first tailored to those drugs that clinicians are encouraged to use as first-line therapy. In the event a multi-drug resistant organism is isolated, testing against a panel of second- and third-line drugs will be routinely undertaken and reported at no additional cost.

If you require further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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