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Antibiotic Sensitivity Test - Topic Overview

An antibiotic sensitivity (or susceptibility) test is done to help choose the antibiotic that will be most effective against the specific types of bacteria or fungus infecting an individual person.

Some types of bacteria or fungus are resistant to certain antibiotics because of differences in their genetic material (genes). Infections caused by resistant bacteria or fungi are not cured by treatment with those antibiotics.

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Drug-resistant bacteria or fungi usually develop because the entire course of antibiotic treatment was not completed. Stopping drug treatment early kills only the bacteria or fungi that are sensitive to the drugs, allowing the resistant bacteria or fungi to multiply and cause an infection.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 09, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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