Molecular Methods in Clinical Microbiology (A Historical Review) (Online CE Course)

(based on 319 customer ratings)

Author: Cathy Dragoni, MT(ASCP)SM
Reviewer: Julie Ann West, PhD, MLS(ASCP)CM, SM(ASCP)CM

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Continuing Education Credits

P.A.C.E.® Contact Hours (acceptable for AMT, ASCP, and state recertification): 1.5 hour(s)
Approved through 10/31/2024
Florida Board of Clinical Laboratory Personnel Credit Hours - General (Microbiology/Mycology/Parasitology): 1.5 hour(s)
Approved through 10/31/2024


  • Describe some of the history of molecular methods and their introduction into the routine diagnostic laboratory.
  • Describe some of the advantages of molecular methods over traditional microbiology.
  • Describe the requirements and some of the challenges of implementing molecular methods in the setting of a routine clinical microbiology laboratory.
  • Describe the principles of the basic methods of molecular techniques.
  • Describe several assays of interest (and principles of reaction) for use in the field of infectious disease.

Customer Ratings

(based on 319 customer ratings)

Course Outline

Click on the links below to preview selected pages from this course.
  • Some History of Development
      • Prior to 1985
      • Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae
      • Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and Mycobacterium
      • Hepatitis and Viral Load Testing
      • Initially, why were molecular methods difficult to perform in routine clinical laboratories?
      • Why were Chlamydia and Neisseria logical targets for the development of a commercial molecular assay?
  • Potential Benefits of Molecular Methods over Traditional Microbiology
  • Challenges for Implementing Molecular Microbiology
  • Definitions and Principles of Basic Methods
      • Methods: An Overview
      • Categories of Methods
      • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
      • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR)
      • Detection and Identification of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Products
      • Detection and Identification of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Products: Advantages of Real-Time PCR
      • What are the two general categories of nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) techniques?
      • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) copies DNA through repeated cycles of three basic steps. What is the correct order of these steps? (Choose the BEST an...
  • Application to Infectious Diseases
    • Assays of Interest for Infectious Disease [Staphylococcus aureus and Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA)]
    • Assays of Interest for Infectious Disease [Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses]
    • Assays of Interest for Infectious Disease [Clostridioides difficile]
      • Clinical Significance of Clostridioides difficile
      • Previous Methodologies: Culture and Cell Cytotoxicity Neutralization Assay (CCNA)
      • Other Methodologies: Antigenic Detection of Toxin and Glutamate Dehydrogenase (GDH)
      • Molecular Methods
      • Example #1
      • Example #2
      • Other examples...
      • Several methods of detection are available for the detection of Clostridioides difficile (previously known as Clostridium difficile) in clinical sampl...
      • What statement is TRUE about the glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) assay for Clostridioides difficile?
  • The Future of Development
      • The Future ...
  • References
      • References

Additional Information

Level of instruction: Intermediate 
Intended audience: Medical laboratory scientists, medical technologists, and technicians working in the microbiology and molecular sections of the laboratory. This course is also appropriate for clinical laboratory microbiology and molecular department supervisors, medical laboratory science students, and pathology residents.
Author information: Catherine Dragoni, MT(ASCP)SM, received her BS degree in medical technology from the State University of New York, Upstate Medical Center, Syracuse. She began her career as a bench microbiologist at Maine Medical Center, Portland, Maine. Currently, she has experience as the Assistant Chief Technologist of Microbiology and Molecular Pathology at NorDx Laboratories, Scarborough, Maine.
Reviewer Information: Dr. Julie Ann West is certified by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) as a Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) and as a Specialist in Microbiology (SM). In addition, Dr. West has earned a PhD in Public Health - Infectious Disease Epidemiology - and is Certified in Public Health (CPH) by the National Board of Public Health Examiners. Dr. West is experienced as a Technical Specialist, Safety Officer, Educator, and Lead in the Veterans Administration Healthcare System, and has prior experience as an Administrative Laboratory Director.
Course description: This course offers a historical look at the progression of molecular methods used in the clinical laboratory. The advantages of these molecular methods over traditional microbiology are discussed, along with the requirements and challenges faced during implementation in a routine clinical setting. Basic methods and molecular techniques are described, including the principle reactions of some assays of current interest for infectious diseases.

How to Subscribe
MLS & MLT Comprehensive CE Package
Includes 173 CE courses, most popular
$95Add to cart
Pick Your Courses
Up to 8 CE hours
$50Add to cart
Individual course$20Add to cart
Need multiple seats for your university or lab? Get a quote
24469 Multi-channel pipettors

FISH technique. (5)

H1N1 Influenza Virus photo taken in the CDC Influenza Virus Laboratory. (6)

PCR Reaction