Using Clinical Breakpoints to Improve Antimicrobial Resistance Detection


Title: Using Clinical Breakpoints to Improve Antimicrobial Resistance Detection

Date: December 13, 2022

Time: 1 p.m. ET

Presenter: Patricia (Trish) J. Simner, PhD, D(ABMM)

Addressing a Global Health Threat in the Clinical Lab

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is an urgent global health threat. It is detected by clinical laboratories that perform antimicrobial susceptibility tests (AST) against bacteria isolated from clinical cultures. AST results are interpreted using clinical breakpoints, which are updated periodically by standards development organizations and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Breakpoint changes can benefit patients and public health only if adopted in a timely manner by diagnostic companies that develop and market AST products and/or clinical laboratories that perform AST.

Currently, the U.S. regulatory framework does not compel laboratories or diagnostic companies to stay up to date with evolving AST breakpoints. This results in serious patient safety concerns and hampers the ability to track and contain the worldwide threat of antimicrobial resistance.

This webinar will review results from the recent Open Forum Infectious Diseases publication, Raising the Bar: Improving Antimicrobial Resistance Detection by Clinical Laboratories by Ensuring Use of Current Breakpoints. The presenter will also discuss new College of American Pathologists requirements to ensure breakpoint adherence and provide practical examples to address them. By updating clinical breakpoints, we can ensure proper patient safety and help detect antimicrobial resistance to contain the threat.

Learning Objectives

This webinar will help you:

  • Define the ongoing pandemic of antimicrobial resistance
  • Discuss how we can address antimicrobial resistance in the clinical microbiology laboratory
  • Demonstrate the need to apply updated clinical breakpoints to interpret antimicrobial susceptibility testing results
  • Review practical examples for how to update clinical breakpoints to interpret antimicrobial susceptibility testing results for patient care

Download Slides (PDF, 3.3MB)

For research use only. Not for diagnostic procedures.

Fisher Healthcare is approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences by the ASCLS P.A.C.E.™ Program. One P.A.C.E.™ credit-hour will be provided for this complimentary basic level program.



Patricia (Trish) J. Simner, PhD, D(ABMM)

Dr. Trish Simner is an associate professor of pathology and infectious diseases at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the director of the medical bacteriology and infectious disease sequencing laboratories at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. She completed her PhD at the University of Manitoba in Manitoba, Canada, and a clinical microbiology fellowship at the Mayo Clinic.

Simner is widely regarded internationally as an expert in antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial susceptibility testing. Her research has focused on understanding the molecular epidemiology and mechanisms of resistance of gram-negative bacteria that harbor β-lactamase enzymes. Simner also investigates novel diagnostic tools to rapidly identify infectious pathogens and helps develop next-generation sequencing applications for use in clinical microbiology laboratories.