Sensitivity analysis, also called susceptibility testing, helps find the right antibiotic to kill an infecting microorganism. This test determines the “sensitivity” of a colony of bacteria to an antibiotic. It also determines the ability of the drug to kill the bacteria. Unfortunately, many bacteria are resistant to common antibiotics. Resistant means that the drug can’t kill the bacteria. Sensitivity analysis is a useful tool to help quickly determine if bacteria are resistant to certain drugs. It may also be used if you have a fungal infection. Sensitivity analysis starts with a bacterial sample. Your doctor will obtain this sample by swabbing the infected area or secretions of the infected area. Your doctor can sample any area that has an infection.
Cultures may be taken from:
- Susceptible means they can’t grow if the drug is present. This indicates an effective antibiotic.
- Resistant means they can grow even if the drug is present. This indicates an ineffective antibiotic.
- Intermediate means a higher dose of the antibiotic is needed to prevent growth.