White Paper: Rapid Antimicrobial Resistance Detection at the Veterinary Point of Care

  • Culture & Sensitivity (C&S) testing is considered the gold standard method for bacterial pathogen identification and antimicrobial resistance determination
  • The longer turnaround time of C&S testing forces empirical decision making in veterinary clinics which can often lead to erroneous treatment decisions
  • Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) marker detection by qPCR at the point of care (POC) is an effective alternative that allows veterinarians to make evidence-based treatment decisions
  • Although there are literally thousands of AMR markers, critical and intelligent selection of a marker in a test panel can help predict for > 90% of resistance and susceptibility for most antibiotic classes commonly prescribed by veterinarians.


Bacterial diseases are a significant cause of morbidity in companion animals that necessitate veterinary care. Antimicrobial drug therapy is the cornerstone of the fight against bacterial infectious diseases. However, emergence of multi-drug resistant pathogens and the dwindling resources to fight them has put the focus on the antimicrobial prescription practices in human and veterinary medicine. Evidence based treatment decision making is critical to antimicrobial stewardship. This article focusses on how qPCR enables judicious antimicrobial use through rapid detection of select AMR genes at the veterinary POC.

Antimicrobial drug selection— Gold standard vs. Practice

Selection of an appropriate antimicrobial drug for the effective treatment of a disease requires information on the presence and type of the bacterial pathogen in appropriate samples collected from the patient and the susceptibility of that pathogen to different antimicrobials of choice for the disease. The gold standard method for diagnosis of bacterial infections and selection of antimicrobial drug for therapy is C&S testing, which involves:

Complex and lengthy bacterial isolation and growth procedures (Figure 1).

microbial colonies AMR detection

Detailed and subjective species level identification using multiple analytical methods (Figure 2).

bacterial id test AMR detection

Lengthy and interpretative susceptibility testing to identify the antibiotic drugs that could be used to treat the disease.

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White Paper AMR at POC