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Microbiology Case Study



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Following a county fair, 160 persons complained of gastrointestinal symptoms. Symptoms included diarrhea (84%), abdominal cramps (96%), nausea (84%), vomiting (82%), body aches (50%), fever (60%; median body temperature = 38.3°C); median duration of illness 6 days (range 10 hr to 13 days).
  In this situation , fecal samples should be cultured for all of the following except _______.  Why?
A) Salmonella      B)  Shigella     C) Campylobacter      D) Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli.  E)  Giardia lamblia 

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Answers

G. lamblia is not reliably found in stools by microscopic examination, so the 'string test' is used to test for it, in which a capsule is swallowed by the patient, the capsule dissolves to expose a weighted rubber bag which enters the bowel.  The bag is drawn up and examined for the bacteria.  Yes, it sounds crazy, but it's true!

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