Microbiology Case Study

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Introduction to Microbiology – Case Study 1
Kristen Alejos

You are working as an emergency room nurse in Topeka when a mother brings in her 8 year old son because of severe, bloody diarrhea. When questioned, the boy said that it hurts when he goes to the bathroom and his mother said he had vomited in the previous two days. When asked about their previous movements, the mother and son both mentioned a backyard barbeque that had taken place 6 days earlier. The boy complained that his mother made him eat a “pink” hamburger that was not thoroughly cooked. A physical examination of the boy revealed nothing out of the ordinary except dehydration from the diarrhea. Lab tests showed that he had 13,000 white blood cells/microliter of blood, and a methylene blue stain of his feces showed abundant neutrophils. His stool specimen was plated on MacConkey agar and several colonies on the plate turned bright pink after 24 hours. Based on symptoms and the lab results, he was treated with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxadole and intravenous fluid therapy. He improved quickly and was released after 24 hours.

1. What microbe is the most likely cause of the infection? Describe the clues you used to figure this out. (3 pts)The microbe most likely causing this infection is the parasite E. Coli. The uncooked hamburger can contain the E. Coli bacteria that comes from cows intestines. We already have E. Coli present in our intestines but large amounts of the bacteria can be toxic. According to the Mayo Clinic staff, symptoms of large amounts of E. Coli in the intestines include bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping, pain, or tenderness, and nausea and vomiting. The 8 year old little boy showed all of these symptoms.

Sources:-Golder, Kim. Nurse Practitioner. Personal Interview. November 6, 2012.- “E. Coli.” Mayo Clinic. July 28, 2011. November 6, 2012.

2. Identify and describe one of the important virulence factors produced by the causative agent. (Hint: there is...
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