Associate Professor

Susan Poutanen

Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology


University Health Network/Sinai Health Department of Microbiology
600 University Ave., Department of Microbiology, Room 1485, Toronto, Ontario Canada M5G 1X5
Research Interests
Artificial Intelligence, Infectious Diseases & Immunopathology, Molecular & Cell Biology
Clinical Interests
Microbiology (Clinical and Medical)
Appointment Status

Dr Poutanen received her Medical Degree from the University of Toronto in 1996 and completed Internal Medicine and Medical Microbiology Residencies at the University of Toronto and an Infectious Diseases Fellowship at Stanford University, California. 

She received her Masters of Public Health with a focus on Epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2002. 

Dr Poutanen is a Medical Microbiologist and Infectious Diseases Physician at Mount Sinai Hospital and University Health Network in Toronto, Canada and an associate professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology and Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto.


Research Synopsis


My broad research interests include: 

  • the epidemiology and detection of antimicrobial resistance
  • the diagnosis of and preparedness for emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases
  • the optimization of microbiology laboratory practices to support antimicrobial stewardship and patient care including the use of automation and artificial intelligence
  • the assessment of long term outcomes related to fecal microbiota transplantation as an investigational intervention for varied proposed indications.      


Recent Publications


Lapointe-Shaw L, Tran KL, Coyte PC, Hancock-Howard RL, Powis J, Poutanen SM, Hota S. Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Six Strategies to Treat Recurrent Clostridium difficile Infection. PLoS One. 2016 Feb 22;11(2):e0149521. PMID:   26901316

Fattouh R, Tijet N, McGeer A, Poutanen SM, Melano RG, Patel SN. What Is the Appropriate Meropenem MIC for Screening of Carbapenemase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae in Low-Prevalence Settings? Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2015 Dec 28;60(3):1556-9. PMID: 26711746

Thaker MN, Kalan L, Waglechner N, Eshaghi A, Patel SN, Poutanen S, Willey B, Coburn B, McGeer A, Low DE, Wright GD. Vancomycin-variable enterococci can give rise to constitutive resistance during antibiotic therapy. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2015 Mar;59(3):1405-10. Epub 2014 Dec 15. PMID: 25512425

Leis JA, Rebick GW, Daneman N, Gold WL, Poutanen SM, Lo P, Larocque M, Shojania KG, McGeer A. Reducing antimicrobial therapy for asymptomatic bacteriuria among noncatheterized inpatients: a proof-of-concept study. Clin Infect Dis. 2014 Apr;58(7):980-3. Epub 2014 Feb 26. PMID: 24577290

Coburn B, Low DE, Patel SN, Poutanen SM, Shahinas D, Eshaghi A, Willey BM, McGeer A. Vancomycin-variable Enterococcus faecium: in vivo emergence of vancomycin resistance in a vancomycin-susceptible isolate. J Clin Microbiol. 2014 May;52(5):1766-7. Epub 2014 Feb 12.  PMID: 24523476

Leis JA, Gold WL, Ng J, Hirji Z, Pillai DR, Broukhanski G, Raggiunti P, Hota S, McGeer A, Poutanen SM. Indeterminate tcdB using a Clostridium difficile PCR assay: a retrospective cohort study. BMC Infect Dis. 2013 Jul 16;13:324. PMID:   23865713

Bailey D, Diamandis EP, Greub G, Poutanen SM, Christensen JJ, Kostrzew M. Use of MALDI-TOF for diagnosis of microbial infections. Clin Chem. 2013 Oct;59(10):1435-41. Epub 2013 May 21. PMID: 23695295

Mataseje LF, Boyd DA, Hoang L, Imperial M, Lefebvre B, Miller M, Poutanen SM, Roscoe D, Willey BM, Mulvey MR. Carbapenem-hydrolyzing oxacillinase-48 and oxacillinase-181 in Canada, 2011. Emerg Infect Dis. 2013 Jan;19(1):157-60. PMID: 23261038.

Singh-Babak SD, Babak T, Diezmann S, Hill JA, Xie JL, Chen YL, Poutanen SM, Rennie RP, Heitman J, Cowen LE. Global analysis of the evolution and mechanism of echinocandin resistance in Candida glabrata. PLoS Pathog. 2012;8(5):e1002718. Epub 2012 May 17. PMID: 22615574

Siccion Z, Poutanen SM, Perl J, Bargman JM.  The utility of prolonged culture of peritoneal dialysis effluent in the diagnosis and management of peritonitis. Adv Perit Dial. 2011;27:43-4.  PMID:    22073827

Kus JV, Tadros M, Simor A, Low DE, McGeer AJ, Willey BM, Larocque C, Pike K, Edwards IA, Dedier H, Melano R, Boyd DA, Mulvey MR, Louie L, Okeahialam C, Bayley M, Whitehead C, Richardson D, Carr L, Jinnah F, Poutanen SM.  New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase-1: local acquisition in Ontario, Canada, and challenges in detection. CMAJ. 2011 Aug 9;183(11):1257-61. Epub 2011 May 30. PMID: 21624908

Mataseje LF, Boyd DA, Willey BM, Prayitno N, Kreiswirth N, Gelosia A, Poutanen SM, Low DE, Jenkins SG, Katz K, Mulvey MR. Plasmid comparison and molecular analysis of Klebsiella pneumoniae harbouring bla(KPC) from New York City and Toronto. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2011 Jun;66(6):1273-7. Epub 2011 Mar 15. PMID: 21406433                       



Medical Microbiologist, University Health Network/Sinai Health Department of Microbiology
Infectious Disease Physician, University Health Network and Mount Sinai Hospital


Honours and Awards

Name: Clinical Teaching Excellence Award in Residency Teaching, Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology, University of Toronto (2021)