Drug-Resistant Superbugs, Multi-drug Resistant Organisms: MRSA, VRE, Clostridioides difficile, and CRE (Online CE Course)

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Authors: Carolyn M. Law, PhD, MT(AMT); Catherine Dragoni, MT(ASCP)SM
Co-author: Judi Bennett, MT, BSM
Reviewer: Amanda Reed, M.A.E., MLS(ASCP)CM

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In light of the recent death of a Nevada woman infected with carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), we wonder how prepared our laboratory professionals are for the challenges that may lie ahead.
To aid in the continued education about CRE and other multi-drug resistant microbes, we're republishing our Multi-drug Resistant Organisms: MRSA, VRE, Clostridium difficile, and CRE course. New information and updates have been added to address the potential of increased CRE infections.
Multiple drug resistant organisms (MDROs) are a serious problem facing healthcare and the general public. This course details the clinical significance, risk factors, and laboratory detection of these multi-drug resistant organisms: methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin resistant Enterococcus species, Clostridium difficile, and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae.

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Continuing Education Credits

P.A.C.E.® Contact Hours (acceptable for AMT, ASCP, and state recertification): 2.5 hour(s)
Approved through 5/31/2024
Florida Board of Clinical Laboratory Personnel Credit Hours - General (Microbiology/Mycology/Parasitology): 2.5 hour(s)
Approved through 5/31/2024


  • Identify the virulence factors that are expressed by drug resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridioides difficile, Enterococcus faecium and faecalis, and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales.
  • List the risk factors and clinical syndromes that are associated with drug-resistant organisms.
  • Describe the recommended laboratory procedures involved in screening and detecting drug-resistant organisms.
  • State the drugs that are currently available for the treatment of drug-resistant organism infections and describe the proper treatment protocols.

Customer Ratings

(based on 545 customer ratings)

Course Outline

Click on the links below to preview selected pages from this course.
  • Introduction
  • Staphylococcus aureus
      • General Characteristics
      • S. aureus Virulence Factors
      • Which factor would not attribute to the pathogenicity of S. aureus, as well as the frequency with which this organism produces infections?
      • Clinical Significance of S. aureus
      • Beta-lactam Antibiotics and S. aureus
      • Which of these describes the mode of action of the beta-lactam class of antibiotics?
      • Beta-lactam antibiotics interfere with cell wall synthesis by:
  • MRSA
  • Laboratory Diagnosis of MRSA
      • Laboratory Identification of S. aureus
      • Screening Cultures for MRSA
    • Susceptibility Testing of Isolates
      • Susceptibility Testing
      • Selection of Drugs for Testing
      • Interpretation of Oxacillin Broth Dilution Tests
      • Interpretation of Oxacillin and Cefoxitin Disk Diffusion Tests
      • Detection of Oxacillin Resistance
      • Which of the following scenarios represents appropriate detection of MRSA by the Kirby Bauer method?
      • A laboratory performs MIC tests, in addition to Kirby Bauer, and a PBP 2a assay on blood culture isolates. Which of the following isolates should be r...
  • MRSA Treatment/Vancomycin Resistance in S. aureus
      • MRSA Treatment/Vancomycin Resistance
      • Vancomycin-Intermediate S. aureus (VISA) and Vancomycin-Resistant S. aureus (VRSA)
    • Testing for Vancomycin Susceptibility
      • Testing for Vancomycin Susceptibility
      • A laboratory's primary susceptibility testing method is disk diffusion. The cefoxitin disk has a zone size of 19 mm and the vancomycin disk has a zone...
  • Future Perspectives: MRSA
      • Future Perspectives: MRSA
      • Future Perspectives: MRSA, continued
      • Moving forward, what is not considered an important strategy for dealing with MRSA strains?
  • Enterococcus
      • Enterococci
      • Risk Factors and Resistance
      • Enterococci can possess both intrinsic and acquired resistance. Which of the following represents acquired resistance of a typical enterococcal strain...
  • Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci
      • Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE) Phenotypes
      • Which statement concerning vancomycin resistance in enterococci is correct?
  • Laboratory Diagnosis of VRE
  • Treatment of Resistant Enterococci
      • Newer Antibiotics for Treatment of Resistant Enterococci
  • Clostridium Species
      • Clostridium Species
  • Clostridioides difficile
      • Clostridioides difficile
      • C. difficile Toxin A and Toxin B
      • Pathogenesis of C. difficile-Associated Diarrhea
      • Risk Factors for C. difficile Infection
      • C. difficile-Associated Diarrhea (CDAD)
      • Strain BI/NAP1/027
      • C. difficile disease is more likely to occur when:
  • Laboratory Diagnosis of CDAD
      • Laboratory Detection of C. difficile
      • Stool Culture
      • Cell Cytotoxicity Neutralization Assay (CCNA)
      • Enzyme Immunoassay Methods
      • Various methods have been employed for the detection of C. difficile disease: cultivation of the organism, cell cytotoxin neutralization assays, and e...
      • Glutamate Dehydrogenase (GDH) Antigen Assays
      • Molecular Methods
      • Which of the following approaches for diagnostic testing have been indicated by recent literature?
  • Treatment of C. difficile Infection
  • Future Perspectives: CDI/CDAD
      • Future Perspectives: CDI/CDAD
  • Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacterales
  • Laboratory Diagnosis of CRE
  • Treatment and Control of CRE
  • Future Perspectives: CRE
      • Future Perspectives: CRE
  • References

Additional Information

Level of Instruction: Intermediate
Intended Audience: This course is intended for medical laboratory scientists, technicians, and those working in a microbiology lab. This course is also appropriate for medical laboratory science students and pathology residents.
Author Information:
Carolyn M. Law, PhD, MT(AMT) is the CEO of Celtic Labs Diagnostic Microbiology Services in Trinidad. She holds a PhD in Microbiology from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.
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 is the Assistant Chief Technologist of Microbiology and Molecular Pathology at NorDx Laboratories, Scarborough, Maine.
Co-author Information: Judi Bennett, MT, BSM currently works for MediaLab in Lawrenceville, Georgia. She has over 30 years of medical laboratory experience in an acute care hospital setting as a laboratory manager, senior clinical applications specialist, point-of-care coordinator, microbiology supervisor, and generalist technologist. Judi has experience speaking at various professional conferences and is the author of numerous peer-reviewed publications.  
Reviewer Information: Amanda Reed, M.A.E., MLS(ASCP)CM is a Program Director and faculty member of the Medical Laboratory Science Program at Saint Louis University. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and a Master of Arts in Education from Truman State University. After teaching a variety of high school science courses ranging from freshman biology to environmental science to basic chemistry and conceptual physics, she decided to pursue a degree in Clinical Laboratory Science from Saint Louis University. Amanda earned a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science and worked in the Microbiology Lab at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. She left the hospital in 2012 to combine her love of teaching and laboratory. Her interests center around the integration of classroom technology and student laboratory experiences in the field of medical laboratory science.

How to Subscribe
MLS & MLT Comprehensive CE Package
Includes 180 CE courses, most popular
$109Add to cart
Pick Your Courses
Up to 8 CE hours
$55Add to cart
Individual course$25Add to cart
Need multiple seats for your university or lab? Get a quote
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