Antimicrobial susceptibility testing – Aerobic bacteria

Specimen Collection and Handling

Specimen Requirements

Test Requested Required Requisition(s) Specimen Type Minimum Volume Collection Kit

Antimicrobial susceptibility testing – Aerobic bacteria

Pure viable subculture of 24 – 48 hours growth of organism on an appropriate medium or a swab for susceptibility testing.

Submission and Collection Notes


If a swab or broth is received the turnaround time will be delayed by at least 24 hours.


Submit subculture of an organism on an appropriate medium that supports the growth (e.g. Blood Agar). Swab of pure culture in bacterial transport medium is an acceptable alternative.


Primary cultures are not acceptable; and must be processed by the originating lab. The submitter will be contacted by telephone prior to rejection of the primary sample followed by a written report to indicate that the test has been rejected.


Complete all fields of the Reference Bacteriology Requisition, including:

  • test(s) requested
  • culture information
  • clinical/epidemiology
  • contact information


Culture must be viable for testing. Use a fresh subculture and ship in conditions to ensure viability on receipt.

Preparation Prior to Transport

Label the specimen container with the patient’s full name, date of collection and one other unique identifier such as the patient’s date of birth or Health Card Number. Failure to provide this information may result in rejection or testing delay.

Requisitions and Kit Ordering

Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)

Antimicrobial Susceptibility testing is performed daily, Monday to Friday.

Turnaround time for test results is up to 8 days from receipt by PHO laboratory.


Results are reported to the ordering physician or health care provider as indicated on the requisition.

Test Methods

Antimicrobial Susceptibility testing on a bacterial isolate is performed as per CLSI guidelines using the following methods: 

  • agar dilution
  • micro-broth dilution (Sensititre)
  • E-test
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Laboratory Services

Updated 21 Dec 2018