Anaerobic Bacteria: Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing and Resistance Patterns

  • Audrey N. SchuetzEmail author
Part of the Emerging Infectious Diseases of the 21st Century book series (EIDC)


Our ability to measure the effects of antimicrobial resistance on infections by anaerobic bacterial pathogens is more difficult than with their aerobic counterparts. Among the problems are inadequate identification of the pathogen genus or species, renaming and reclassifying of anaerobic pathogens, lack of consensus regarding susceptibility testing methods, and disagreements concerning breakpoints and interpretive categories. Consequently, few objective conclusions can be drawn about changes in the prevalence of resistance over time. Recent application of molecular identification methods is shifting clinical laboratory identification of samples from general categories (e.g., Gram-positive anaerobic cocci) to pathogen genera and species, and problems with breakpoint interpretations are being recognized. Susceptibility data are summarized for major antimicrobials with the four groups of anaerobic pathogens (anaerobic cocci, Gram-positive non-spore-forming bacilli, Gram-positive spore-forming bacilli, and Gram-negative bacilli) to serve as a knowledge base. A brief introduction to susceptibility testing is provided for readers unfamiliar with this topic.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mayo ClinicRochesterUSA

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