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Why is Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing So Important?


Jason Gallagher, PharmD, BCPS, FCCP, FIDSA, clinical professor of pharmacy practice, Temple University, Contagion Editorial Advisory Board Member, explains the importance of antimicrobial susceptibility testing.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

“The area of infectious diseases is unique in that we don’t know what the patient has, what they’re infected with, when we first go to treat them. Hence, we have to choose our best guess therapy and antimicrobial susceptibility testing for antimicrobials is what lets us know whether the agent we choose is likely to work or not. So, you start with your best guess, you have collected a culture, and when the culture results come back, you choose the best therapy for that patient.

It’s really different from other therapeutic areas in that you choose something, see how it works, see how the patient does, for their say, hypertension—it’s a little different in infectious diseases where you don’t want to try something for pneumonia, see if they live, and go from there. So, susceptibility testing allows us to know whether the agents that we want to utilize are likely to work or not.”
Speaker for: Allergan, Astellas, Merck
Consultant: Allergan, Astellas, Merck, Cidara, Paratek, Shionogi, Theravance, The Medicines Company

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