AST Webinar Series Teaches Foundational Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing Concepts

April 9, 2018

Antimicrobial susceptibility testing is a common topic on Bugs & Drugs, but where to get started? The ASM-CLSI Webinar series is a great place to learn AST foundational concepts important for all clinical microbiologists.

Headlines everywhere make it clear that antibiotic resistance is on the rise. The recent report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is just the latest illustration of how widely resistant infections have spread. Testing for antibiotic susceptibility is therefore vital to treat patients as effectively as possibleĆ¢€“and a topic weĆ¢€™ve covered frequently here on Bugs & Drugs.

There are lots of important details concerning the science of antibiotic susceptibility testing (AST), such as the best way to test a drug that has no FDA-cleared tests or debating whether minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) reports are useful for clinicians to decide a treatment course. It's hard to enter into these conversations before having an overall understanding of different AST methods and test interpretations, however, which is where the ASM webinar can help.

ASM-CLSI Webinar Series on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing: Fundamentals of Susceptibility Testing, Reporting, and Test Validation (Self-Study Series)

The AST webinar series is a 5-part webinar course, with a different focus for each hour-long webinar. Beginning with "Introduction to Antimicrobials," the course introduces foundational concepts around antimicrobial drug classes and the mechanisms pathogens use to avoid their actions. What is a breakpoint? Why are different tests used for different drugs? What can be automated and what is still manually interpreted? 

In addition to the nuts and bolts of AST, two important sessions discuss how to verify results and how to share AST findings with clinicians. As any science, data are meaningless unless effectively communicated, and you will learn how to design effect results comments for AST reports. 

For more advanced clinical microbiologists, check out additional ASM webinars on topics such as molecular diagnostics and novel AST technologies.