The challenge of antimicrobial resistance for the clinical laboratory: The role of the antibiogram

By Fred C. Tenover, Ph.D., D(ABMM), FIDSA, FAAM, FISAC 


Upon completion of this article, the reader will be able to:

  1. List the reasons that have led to antimicrobial resistance. 
  2. Discuss healthcare statistics and outcomes of multidrug-resistant bacteria. 
  3. Describe how proper antibiotic treatment is selected for individual patients. 
  4. Discuss how antibiograms are generated, used, and developed. 

About the Author

Dr. Fred Tenover is Vice President for Scientific Affairs at Cepheid, where he has worked since 2008. He is also Consulting Professor of Pathology at Stanford University School of Medicine, Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology in the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, and Consulting Professor of Biology at the University of Dayton. Prior to joining Cepheid, he served for 18 years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta as Associate Director for Laboratory Science in the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion. His research team discovered the KPC carbapenem resistance gene and other key resistance determinants. He then became the Director of the Office of Antimicrobial Resistance for the CDC. Dr. Tenover was a member of the CLSI Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing Subcommittee for 17 years, developing novel test methods for resistance detection and interpretive criteria for new antimicrobial agents. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Medical Microbiology and a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, the Infectious Disease Society of America, and International Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.

 Photo credit: ID 38596122 © Emil Zhelyazkov | ID 233070062 © Nickswipe |

Not Enrolled

Course Includes

  • 1 Article
  • 1 Test
  • Course Certificate
  • MLO and Northern Illinois University (NIU), DeKalb, IL, are co-sponsors in offering continuing education units (CEUs) for this issue’s CE article. CEUs or contact hours are granted by the College of Health and Human Sciences at Northern Illinois University, which has been approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences by the ASCLS P.A.C.E.® program. Continuing education credits awarded for successful completion of this test are acceptable for the ASCP Board of Registry Continuing Competence Recognition Program. Readers who pass the test successfully (scoring 70% or higher) will receive a certificate for 1 contact hour of P.A.C.E.® credit. The fee for this continuing education test is $20. This test was prepared by Amanda Voelker, MPH, MT(ASCP), MLS, Clinical Education Coordinator, School of Health Studies, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL.

    Level of Instruction: Intermediate
    Passing scores of 70 percent or higher are eligible for 1 contact hour of P.A.C.E. credit. This test is no longer valid for CEUs after June 30, 2025.

    NIU is approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences by the ASCLS P.A.C.E. ® Program.