Multi-drug Resistant Organisms: MRSA, VRE, and Clostridium difficile (by LabCE)

(based on 996 customer ratings)

Authors: Carolyn M. Law, PhD, MT(AMT); Catherine Dragoni, MT(ASCP)SM

Course provided by LabCE.

Over the last two decades, bacterial resistance to antibiotics has become widely recognized as a serious problem, making many diseases increasingly difficult if not impossible to treat. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci, and drug-resistant Clostridium difficile are recent examples of organisms that have been reported in hospital settings; some resistant organisms have also become problematic for otherwise healthy individuals that are not, and were not recently hospitalized. This course discusses the pathogenicity of these organisms, how they are detected in the microbiology laboratory, and future perspectives.

See more courses in: Microbiology

Continuing Education Credits

Florida Board of Clinical Laboratory Personnel Credit Hours - General (Microbiology/Mycology/Parasitology): 2 hour(s)
Course number 20-547789, approved through 9/1/2020


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

Customer Ratings

(based on 996 customer ratings)

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Course Outline

  • Introduction
      • Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus
      • Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci
      • Clostridium difficile
  • Staphylococcus aureus
      • Staphylococcus aureus
      • S. aureus Virulence Factors
      • Clinical significance of S. aureus
      • Beta-lactam antibiotics and S. aureus
  • MRSA
      • Beta-lactams and Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus
      • Healthcare (Hospital)-Associated MRSA (HA-MRSA) versus Community-Associated MRSA (CA-MRSA)
      • Risk Factors
  • 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
  • MRSA Treatment/Vancomycin Resistance in S. aureus
      • MRSA Treatment/Vancomycin Resistance
      • VISA and VRSA
    • Testing for Vancomycin Susceptibility
      • Testing for Vancomycin Susceptibility
  • Future Perspectives
      • Future Perspectives
      • Future Perspectives, continued
      • Future Perspectives, continued
  • Enterococcus
      • Enterococci
      • Risk Factors and Resistance
  • Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci
      • Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE) Phenotypes
  • Laboratory Diagnosis of VRE
      • Identification of Enterococcus Species From Clinical Cultures
      • Screening Cultures for Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE)
      • Susceptibility Testing of Enterococci
      • Detecting Vancomycin Resistance
      • High Level Aminoglycoside Resistance (HLAR) Screening
  • Treatment of Resistant Enterococci
      • Newer antibiotics for Treatment of Resistant Enterococci
  • Clostridium Species
      • Clostridium Species
  • Clostridium difficile
      • Clostridium difficile
      • C. difficile Toxin A and Toxin B
      • Pathogenisis of C. Difficile-Associated Diarrhea
      • Risk factors for C. difficile Infection
      • C. difficile-associated Diarrhea (CDAD)
      • Strain BI/NAP1/027
  • Laboratory Diagnosis of CDAD
      • Laboratory Detection of C. difficile
      • Stool Culture
      • Cell Cytotoxicity Neutralization Assay (CCNA)
      • Enzyme Immunoassay Methods
      • Glutamate Dehydrogenase (GDH) Antigen Assays
      • Molecular Methods
  • Treatment of C. difficile infection
      • Treatment of C. difficile Infection (CDI) and C. difficile Associated Disease (CDAD)
      • Disinfection & Control of C. difficile Infection
  • Future perspectives
      • Future perspectives - CDI/CDAD
  • References
      • References

Additional Information

Level of instruction: Intermediate
Intended audience: Medical laboratory scientists, medical technologists, and technicians, This course is also appropriate for clinical 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 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.
Course description: 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, and Clostridium difficile. Future perspectives are also discussed.    


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