Susceptibility Testing, Aerobic and Facultatively Anaerobic Organisms

CPT: 87186
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  • Sensitivity Testing

Test Includes

Qualitative determination of an isolated organism antimicrobial susceptibility. Identification is required to perform or provide an accurate interpretation for susceptibility testing, it will be done at an additional charge if not provided by the client.

Expected Turnaround Time

3 - 8 days

Related Documents

For more information, please view the literature below.

Microbiology Specimen Collection and Transport Guide

Specimen Requirements


Pure isolate of aerobic or facultatively anaerobic rapidly-growing organism. Testing of multiple isolates will result in additional fee(s).


A swab transport inoculated with the isolate from a pure culture or agar slant in screw-cap container packed as an etiologic agent. Maintain subculture at submitting laboratory.

Storage Instructions

Maintain specimen at room temperature.

Causes for Rejection

Organism does not grow well on test media; isolated organism not provided; improper labeling. CLSI interpretive standards do not exist.

Test Details


Determine antimicrobial susceptibility of organisms involved in infectious processes when the susceptibility of the organism cannot be predicted from its identity. The pattern of antibiotic susceptibility is sometimes used to monitor nosocomial infections such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and to evaluate or follow the development of resistance to new antimicrobial drugs.1,2


Interpretive criteria do not exist for all bacteria. Susceptible, intermediate, and resistant categories are based on levels of antibiotics achieved in the serum of people with normal kidney and liver function. Drugs concentrated in urine may be effective for urinary tract infection even when the categorical interpretation is resistant. Conversely, drugs that do not penetrate well to a poorly vascularized area may not be effective even though the interpretation is susceptible.


Manual or automated MIC methodology

Additional Information

Susceptible: This category implies that an infection due to the strain may be appropriately treated with the dosage of antimicrobial agent recommended for that type of infection and infecting species, unless otherwise contraindicated.

Intermediate: This category provides a “buffer zone,” which should prevent small, uncontrolled, technical factors from causing major discrepancies in interpretations (eg, species that should have few or no endpoints in this range, or drugs with in vitro results affected by media variation or drugs with narrow pharmacotoxicity margins).

Resistant: Strains falling in this category are not inhibited by the usually achievable systemic concentrations of the agent with normal dosage schedules and/or fall in the range where specific microbial resistance mechanisms are likely (eg, β-lactamases), and clinical efficacy has not been reliable in treatment studies.

Major Mechanisms of Bacterial Antimicrobial Resistance

Enzymatic inactivation or modification of drug:

• β-lactamase hydrolysis of β-lactam ring with subsequent inactivation of β-lactam antibiotics

• Modification of aminoglycosides by acetylating, adenylating, or phosphorylating enzymes

• Modification of chloramphenicol by chloramphenicol acetyltransferase

Decreased drug uptake or accumulation

• Intrinsic or acquired lack of outer membrane permeability

• Faulty or lacking antibiotic uptake and transport system

• Antibiotic efflux system (eg, tetracycline resistance)

Altered or lacking antimicrobial target

• Altered penicillin-binding proteins (β-lactam resistance)

• Altered ribosomal target (eg, aminoglycoside, macrolide, and lincomycin resistance)

• Altered enzymatic target (eg, sulfonamide, trimethoprim, rifampin, and quinolone resistance)

Circumvention of drug action consequences

• Hyperproduction of drug targets or competitive substrates (eg, sulfonamide and trimethoprim resistance)

Uncoupling of antibiotic attack and cell death

• Bacterial tolerance and survival in the presence of usually bactericidal drugs (eg, β-lactams and vancomycin)


1. Grayson ML, Eliopoulos GM. Antimicrobial resistance in the intensive care unit. Semin Respir Infect. 1990 Sep; 5(3):204-214. 2123990
2. Parry MF. Epidemiology and mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance. Am J Infect Control. 1989 Oct; 17(5):286-294. 2683887


Gill VJ, Witebsky FG, MacLowry JD. Multicategory interpretive reporting of susceptibility testing with selected antimicrobial concentrations. Ten years of laboratory and clinical experience. Clin Lab Med. 1989 Jun; 9(2):221-238. 2659242
Hindler JA, Thrupp LD. Interpretive guidelines for antimicrobial susceptibility test results: What do they mean? Clin Microbiol Newslet. 1989; 17:129-136.
National Committee for Laboratory Standards. Performance Standards for Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing. Fourth Information Supplement. Villanova, Pa: National Committee for Laboratory Standards;1992. NCCLS Document M100-S4.
Rosenblatt JE. Laboratory tests used to guide antimicrobial therapy. Mayo Clin Proc. 1991 Sep; 66(9):942-948. 1921504
Sherris JC. Antimicrobic susceptibility testing. A personal perspective. Clin Lab Med. 1989 Jun; 9(2):191-202. 2659240
Silver LL, Bostian KA. Discovery and development of new antibiotics: The problem of antibiotic resistance. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1993 Mar; 37(3):377-383. 8460908


Order Code Order Code Name Order Loinc Result Code Result Code Name UofM Result LOINC
008680 Susceptibility, Aer + Anaerob 23658-8 008680 Susceptibility, Aer + Anaerob 23658-8
Reflex Table for Susceptibility, Aer + Anaerob
Order Code Order Name Result Code Result Name UofM Result LOINC
Reflex 1 080316 Result 080318 Result 1 42803-7
Reflex Table for Susceptibility, Aer + Anaerob
Order Code Order Name Result Code Result Name UofM Result LOINC
Reflex 1 080316 Result 080319 Result 2 N/A
Reflex Table for Susceptibility, Aer + Anaerob
Order Code Order Name Result Code Result Name UofM Result LOINC
Reflex 1 080316 Result 080320 Result 3 N/A
Reflex Table for Susceptibility, Aer + Anaerob
Order Code Order Name Result Code Result Name UofM Result LOINC
Reflex 1 080316 Result 080321 Result 4 N/A
Reflex Table for Susceptibility, Aer + Anaerob
Order Code Order Name Result Code Result Name UofM Result LOINC
Reflex 1 080316 Result 080322 Antimicrobial Susceptibility 23658-8

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