AST insights

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Beyond Same-Day: The Superiority of Same-Shift AST

Bacteria on plates for same-shift AST from e-book

Same-day antibiotic susceptibility testing (AST) often does not translate to same-shift. Why is this a problem?

Some of the total time-to-result of AST is due to the actual assay run time. However, a significant portion of the turnaround time is attributed to pre-analytic handling, including transportation and blood culturing. With critically ill sepsis patients, every hour saved can help save lives. It’s important to distinguish between same-shift and same-day AST. Same-shift eliminates handover during shift changes, enabling full processing of the assay from sample receival to reporting results. In contrast, a same-day AST method requires 6-8 hours to run. Results are not delivered until the next day without overtime or a 24/7 lab service

Why do AST run times matter?

The QuickMIC® system provides MIC values in just 2-4 hours, directly from positive blood culture.  Other rapid AST solutions offer results in 6-8 hours. But why do instrument run times matter? The short answer is that clinical laboratories can process a 2-4-hour AST run in one work shift – but not necessarily a 6–8-hour run. Receiving results during the same shift provides the treating physicians with important data to optimise antibiotic treatment as soon as possible.

A recent clinical study showed that an ultra-rapid AST like QuickMIC® can reduce the total turnaround time by at least 40% compared to traditional AST methods. According to the study, the mean time-to-result from patient sampling to actionable information was reduced from 53 hours to an average of 33 hours. This means that targeted therapy could have started an average of 20 hours earlier. It’s important to note that other rapid AST methods usually take around 6 hours to deliver results and cannot match this performance.