Antimicrobial Therapy (SLS221)

10 credits

Aim of this module

This module will provide the trainee with detailed knowledge and understanding of the structure, function, mode of action and resistance mechanisms of antimicrobial agents. In the work-based module they will be expected to apply this knowledge as they gain experience of the use and monitoring of antimicrobial therapy and the impact on patient care in a variety of clinical settings. This module provides the trainee with experience in the assessment of efficacy of antimicrobial therapies. The trainee will have opportunity to review and discuss clinical situations in which antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal agents are commonly prescribed, clinical situations that involve the prophylactic and therapeutic use of immunoglobulins and vaccines, and the importance of the quality management system in the laboratory (and point-of-care) investigation of the pathogens related to this module.

1. Assess and select appropriate agents and methods for use, together with the methods used in monitoring these therapies.
2. Perform the range of methodologies used in assessing the efficacy of antimicrobial therapies.
3. Interpret and report laboratory results that influence the choice of an antimicrobial agent and its ongoing efficacy.
4. Work in partnership with other clinical specialisms in the use and monitoring of antimicrobial agents.
5. Perform quality assurance and control tasks within the laboratory in the investigation of antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal susceptibility tests.

Number Work-based learning outcome Title Knowledge
1 1

Interpret request forms and select the most appropriate method to establish or monitor the effectiveness of antimicrobial therapy.

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2 1

Select appropriate antimicrobial agents.

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3 2

Monitor and assess the efficacy of antimicrobial therapies.

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4 2

Perform routine clinical investigation of situations associated with both successful and unsuccessful use of:

  • antibiotics
  • antiviral agents
  • antifungal agents
  • antiparasitic agents.
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5 2

Perform therapeutic antibiotic assays.

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6 2

Prescribe immunoglobulin therapy.

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7 3

Contribute to activities relating to UK vaccination scheduling.

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8 4,5

Perform quality assurance and quality control tasks within the laboratory in the investigation of antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal susceptibility tests.

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9 4,5

Perform quality assurance and quality control tasks within the laboratory in the investigation of therapeutic drug assays for commonly prescribed antibiotics.

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10 3

Interpret and report results from antimicrobial susceptibility testing and give advice on further patient management.

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11 3

Interpret and report results from therapeutic antibiotic assays and give advice on further patient management.

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You must complete
2 Case-based discussion(s)
2 of the following DOPS / OCEs
Assessment Title Type
Set up and read five E tests on a range of organisms. Interpret and report the MICs for suitable clinical situations DOPS
Set up and read anti fungal susceptibility tests by E test. Interpret and report the MICs for suitable clinical situations DOPS
Set up and read five disc diffusion assays on a range of organisms. Interpret and report the results for suitable clinical situations DOPS
Perform and interpret a molecular assay that detects antimicrobial resistance DOPS
Interpret the results of therapeutic drug monitoring e.g. aminoglycosides, glycopeptides, azoles etc. DOPS
Perform and interpret approriate investigations for the identification of key healthcare associated organisms, such as multi reistant enterobacteriaceae DOPS
Participate in antimicrobial ward rounds where patient management and antimicrobial options are discussed OCE
Participate in clinical meetings where antimicrobial management is discussed OCE
Under supervision obtain a patient history from a normal volunteer or typical patient referred to your service and present the findings to a colleague or peer OCE

Important information

The academic parts of this module will be detailed and communicated to you by your university. Please contact them if you have questions regarding this module and its assessments. The module titles in your MSc may not be exactly identical to the work-based modules shown in the e-portfolio. Your modules will be aligned, however, to ensure that your academic and work-based learning are complimentary.

Learning Outcomes

1. Explain the structure and mode of action of a broad range of antimicrobial agents, including antibiotics, antivirals and antifungals.
2. Explain and critically evaluate with reference to the evidence base the clinical management and prescribing strategies associated with antimicrobial therapies in a variety of clinical settings.
3. Discuss the prophylactic and therapeutic use of immunoglobulins and vaccines.
4. Describe the application and performance of a range of techniques used in the assessment, surveillance and monitoring of antimicrobial therapy, including identification of antimicrobial resistance.
5. Discuss and evaluate the role of the clinical microbiology laboratory in the provision of information for antimicrobial treatment of infections.
6. Explain and critically evaluate the role of national bodies (e.g. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) and professional guidelines associated with the use of antimicrobials and treatment of infection.
7. Discuss the partnership between the clinical microbiology laboratory and other clinical specialism in the use and monitoring of antimicrobial agents and how this contributes to patient care.

Indicative Content

  • Structure, function and method of action of commonly prescribed antimicrobial agents
  • Clinical approach to antimicrobial therapy in acute, chronic and community medicine
  • Antibiotic resistance: definition, assessment and risk to human health
  • Current guidelines relating to antimicrobials and their use in clinical practice
  • Role of the laboratory in optimising antimicrobial therapy
  • Emerging antimicrobial agents
  • The design and production of vaccines
  • Prophylactic and therapeutic use of immunoglobulins and vaccines
  • Antimicrobial resistance: definition, mechanisms, surveillance, assessment and risk to human health
  • Diagnostic tools used for antimicrobial susceptibility testing and screening for resistance mechanisms of bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites (e.g. culture, immunoassay, molecular techniques, automation)