Archive for November, 2009

Microbiology Australia, Nov 2007

November 13, 2009

Journal available for download:

Microbiology Australia, November 2007


ASM Antimicrobial Susceptibility Textbook Now Available

November 4, 2009


This handbook has been produced as a response to requests to updated information from antimicrobial special interest group members of the Australian Society for Microbiology. It was funded by the NSW Sub-branch of the Australian Society for Microbiology.

As the title suggests “Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing: Methods and Practices in Australia” is an evolving science. The handbook focuses on standardized methods and some which are non-standardized that are useful for detecting antimicrobial resistance during susceptibility testing for the bench microbiologist. It provides updated information from different authors who are currently working or had experiences in specific areas which have proven to be problematic. While it is not a complete textbook, our aim is to update information and topics every two years.

Antimicrobial resistance is an issue of great significance for public health at the local, national and global level. It has become increasingly important to monitor patterns of resistance as the antimicrobial susceptibility of bacterial pathogens escalates. Two major areas covered in this handbook are beta-lactam resistance in Gram-negatives and resistance seen in Gram-positives bacteria such as penicillin in pneumococci and methicillin/oxacillin and vancomycin resistance in staphylococci and enterococci. Fastidious organisms such as Neisseria species and Haemophilus influenzae are also covered by the “National Neisseria Network of Australia” and scientists who are currently working with such organisms. A mycobacterial susceptibility section has also been included with current methods with an Australian perspective. The handbook provides an updated concise chapter on CDS susceptibility testing from the CDS Users group for 2004.

The handbook also covers specialized areas of laboratory testing such as antiviral drug resistance and resistance to parasites with information on current state of testing. Authors of those sections have gone to great lengths in gathering and providing updated information on such testing, which was never previously included in past issues of antimicrobial updates. Antifungal resistance is also an increasing problem and an updated section on referenced methods for such testing and materials available in Australia has also been included from experts in the field. New method developments in antimicrobial combination testing for cystic fibrosis patients are also included in the text.

Susceptibility testing in microbiology is a challenging, continuing, educational science and I hope the microbiologists on the bench find the material useful. The reader should complement the information in the text with tables and guidelines provided by standardized groups such as CDS, NCCLS, BSAC and Etest working party, it is not meant to replace such text material and references are continuously made to updated published tables and guidelines.

Finally I would like to thank the AB BIODISK, Etest from Sweden and the British Society for Chemotherapy committee in UK who gave permission to reproduce material previously published which has been referenced for further reading throughout the text. Also thank you to all those reviewers who took time to comment and review documents. The Antimicrobial Special Interest Group also acknowledges the support of the current Standing Committee on Clinical Microbiology of the Australian Society for Microbiology for this publication.

I hope you find that the information in the handbook provides a stimulus for thought and discussion for the practicing microbiologist carrying out susceptibility testing at the bench.

Dr. John Merlino – Editor in Chief
National Antimicrobial Special Interest Convenor 2004
Australian Society for Microbiology


Chapter 1:
Introduction – Antimicrobial Susceptibility: Concepts, Definitions and Practices
By: John Merlino

Chapter 2:
Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing by the CDS Method: A Manual for Medical and Veterinary Laboratories 2004
By: Bell SM, Gatus BJ, Pham JN, Rafferty DL.

Chapter 3:
Clinical Relevance of Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing
By: Richard A. V. Benn

Chapter 4:
Gram-positive Bacteria – Resistance and Multidrug Resistance
By: John Merlino

Chapter 5:
Beta-lactam resistance in Gram-negative Bacteria
By: Jubelle Valenzuela, Lee Thomas and Jon Iredell

Chapter 6:
Combination Antimicrobial Testing Applications for Cystic Fibrosis
By: D. Hill, B. Rose, W. Ferris, S. Aaron and C. Harbour

Chapter 7:
Haemophilus influenzae and Antimicrobial Susceptibility
By: Stephen Tristram

Chapter 8:
Antimicrobial testing and applications in Pathogenic Neisseria
By: John Tapsall and members of the National Neisseria Network of Australia

Chapter 9:
Recommendations for the Drug Susceptibility Testing of Mycobacteria
By: Richard Lumb

Chapter 10:
Antifungal Susceptibility Testing
By: David Ellis and Rosie Handke

Chapter 11:
Resistance in Parasites: The Current State of Testing
By: Harsha Sheorey

Chapter 12:
Laboratory Testing for Antiviral Drug Resistance
By: Catherine Pitman and Dominic E. Dwyer

Chapter 13:
Antibiotic Susceptibility of Veterinary Isolates
By: Mary D. Barton

Chapter 14:
Chemical Disinfectants and Strerilising Agents
By: John Merlino

Chapter 15:
Appendix 15.1
Factors Influencing Zone Size in Antibiotic Testing
Appendix 15.2
Troubleshooting Guide for Disc Diffusion Test in Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing
Appendix 15.3
Detection of Phenotype and Resistance Mechanisms using Disc Susceptibility Testing
Appendix 15.4
Summary of performance, Interpretative Criteria and Quality Control Ranges Using Etest for MIC Determination
Appendix 15.5
Etest Reading Guide
Appendix 15.6
Etest Media, Inoculum and Incubation Guide
Appendix 15.7
Direct Susceptibility from Specimens
Appendix 15.8
A summary check list when performing Quality Control Procedures in Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing