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Antibiotic Sensitivity Test
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What Is An Antibiotic Sensitivity Test?

Antibiotics are a group of medicines that are recommended by your doctor to fight against various bacterial infections. The markets are flooded with various types of antibiotics and each one is effective only against some particular bacteria. Here comes an antibiotic sensitivity test that particularly finds out the best treatment for you if you have a bacterial infection. Antibiotic sensitivity determines the most suitable antibiotic and its appropriate dosage to treat your bacterial infection.

Antibiotic Sensitivity Test

The cost of the antibiotic sensitivity test is Rs.500 to Rs.2000, depending on your location and place.

Please check the price of the antibiotic sensitivity test in Delhi/NCR, your nearby centers and other details.

Test Summary 

Also known as Antibiotic Susceptibility Test, Sensitivity Testing, Antimicrobial Susceptibility Test
Test Type Blood, urine, sputum, throat
Antibiotic sensitivity test includes To check which antibiotic is suitable for you
Preparation You may not need any special preparations
Reporting Within 24-72 hours
Test price The cost of the antibiotic sensitivity test is Rs.500 to Rs.2000, depending on your location and place.
Also included in Health Insurance Plans
Related tests Urine culture test


Why do you need an antibiotic sensitivity test?

An antibiotic sensitivity test is often recommended to check what types of antibiotics are resistant to you. These resistant antibiotics are less effective or don’t affect certain bacteria. With the help of this test, your doctor will give you the proper antibiotics to treat bacterial infections and illnesses. 

Here are some infections that could be antibiotic-resistant or are difficult to treat:

  • Tuberculosis 
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
  • Salmonella typhi or typhoid fever 
  • Clostridioides difficile or C. diff
  • Pneumonia


A plethora of statistics has claimed that nearly 3 million antibiotic-resistant infections are present every year. More than 35,000 people die from these infections.

Antibiotic sensitivity testing is beneficial for testing these antibiotic-resistant infections and will offer you the best treatment solutions so that you can combat your disease.

What Causes Antibiotic Sensitivity?

Antibiotics are medicines that will extirpate bacteria. Each antibiotic can kill or treat only specific bacterial infections.

Since people are using these antibiotics over the period, hence many bacteria have modified their genetic code to fight back against these medications. Resistant bacteria couldn’t kill by antibiotics. They usually thrive and can pass their resistance to other bacteria.

Overusing and misusing antibiotics may also lead to bacteria becoming resistant to that particular antibiotic. To prevent antibiotic resistance, you should follow the below-mentioned steps.

1. Only take antibiotics when required

If you are suffering from diseases caused by viruses like a cold or flu, antibiotics are not recommended.

2. Take the recommended dosage of antibiotics

Even if you are feeling better, you must complete your course as prescribed by the doctor

3. Don’t Take Leftover Antibiotics

Antibiotics are not useful in treating all bacterial infections. You must consume antibiotics that are specifically recommended for an infection.

4. Try to avoid foodborne bacterial infections

Wash your hands properly before cooking. Ensure food safety before eating them. 

5. Wash your hands regularly

By washing your hands at frequent intervals, you can keep away many bacterial infections.  

 If you are having an antibiotic-resistant infection, it could be an arduous job to treat. Your symptoms could be more severe and it may take a longer time for recovery. Antibiotic sensitivity testing will help your doctor to find an efficacious treatment for your infection.

The Preparation for the Test

You don’t need any special preparation for the test.

The Antibiotic Sensitivity Test Procedure

This test is performed by taking samples from various infected sites. The most common types of tests are listed below.

1. Blood Culture

A nurse or lab technician will collect your blood sample from a vein in your arm by inserting a small needle. Once the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood sample will be collected into a test tube or vial.

2. Urine Culture

You need to provide a sterile urine sample in a container as instructed by the staff of the lab or diagnostic center.

3. Wound Culture

By using a special swab, your health care provider will collect a sample from the site of your wound.

4. Sputum Culture

You may require coughing up sputum into a special cup, or a special swab sample may be taken from your nose.

5. Throat Culture

The technician or nurse will take a sample from the back of the throat and tonsils.

The Interpretation of the Results

Results can be described in the following ways.

1. Susceptible

 The tested medication averted the growth or killed the bacteria or funguses that are responsible for your infection. This medication could be an ideal choice for the treatment.

2. Intermediate

The medicine requires a higher dose to fight the infection

3. Resistant

The medication can’t stop the growth or kill the bacteria or fungus. You should discard this medication for treatment.


How long does an antibiotic sensitivity test take?

Conventional testing may require 18-24 hours of incubation; more rapid assays are becoming popular these days, which could result in less than 24 hours. Molecular tests to detect resistance genes may give results within a few days.

What does it mean if you are sensitive to an antibiotic?

This means the antibiotic is effective against the bacteria. Resistant means the bacteria can grow even if you take the medicines. This is a sign of an ineffective antibiotic.

Which media is used for the antibiotic sensitivity test?

The standard medium for the Kirby-Bauer method of susceptibility testing is Mueller-Hinton agar (MHA) 

What factors affect your antibiotic sensitivity test?

Certain factors may affect your antibiotic sensitivity test. These factors are,

      1. Inoculum
      2. Media composition and depth
      3. The delay between application of the disc and incubation
      4. Temperature
      5. Atmosphere
      6. Duration of incubation
      7. Generation time

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