Carbapenem Resistance and Carbapenemase Detection in the Clinical Microbiology Lab


Antimicrobial resistance has been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) as a major global public health problem. Carbapenem resistance, a type of antimicrobial resistance, has been designated an urgent threat to public health here in the United States. Of particular concern are organisms that harbor transmissible genes encoding carbapenemase enzymes. Determining if an organism produces a carbapenemase and identifying which carbapenemase is produced can help guide antibiotic therapy in patients infected with these organisms, and can also be useful epidemiologically.

This talk will discuss carbapenem resistance mediated by carbapenemase production, and will provide information on several current test methods for the detection of carbapenemases in the clinical microbiology laboratory. Activity of newer antibiotics against individual classes of carbapenemases will also be discussed.

Originally published on May 11, 2020

Lecture Presenter

Rebekah M. Martin, PhD, MLS(ASCP)CM

Rebekah M. Martin, PhD, MLS(ASCP)CM

Medical Microbiology Fellow
University of Utah Department of Pathology

Dr. Martin is currently a Medical Microbiology Fellow at the University of Utah School of Medicine and ARUP Laboratories. She was previously an Assistant Professor of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. Dr. Martin received her PhD in Molecular and Cellular Pathology from the University of Michigan where her dissertation focused on identifying bacterial and host risk factors for clinical infection with Klebsiella pneumoniae. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science from Michigan State University, and is certified as a Medical Laboratory Scientist by the American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification. Dr. Martin has served on the Board of Directors for the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science-Michigan (ASCLS-MI) and as a member of the ASCLS-MI annual meeting planning committee. She is a current member of ASCLS and the American Society for Microbiology, as well as the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases where she is a member of the ESCMID Study Group for Genomic and Molecular Diagnostics.


After this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Describe mechanisms of carbapenem resistance
  • Explain various methods for detecting carbapenemases in the clinical lab
  • Discuss the importance of carbapenemase detection for treatment of infections

Sponsored by:

University of Utah School of Medicine, Department of Pathology, and ARUP Laboratories