Sunday, February 7, 2010

More Than Meets the Eye

Infectious mononucleosis, when symptomatic, you really don't want it unless you are trying to get out of your day job. The image here is a kit for performing the MonoSpot test.

Laboratory Diagnostics

Although we may not be performing the laboratory procedures ourselves in the future, it certainly helps to have an understanding of the equipment available. This week we tinkered with the MonoSpot test, rapid strep test, and Gram staining. The first two are specific indicators of illnesses that can be performed quickly to rule out other causes. The Gram stain is used to narrow down the possible organisms that may be leading to illness.

In a matter of minutes these simple tests can aid in the diagnosis of disease saving time and resources. If for nothing else, it was nice to get out of the classroom for a couple hours to get a change in scenery. After getting through the gag reflex, it was quite reassuring knowing that I don't currently have strep throat.

Board Prep Question of the Week

A 9 year old girl presents with 2 days of sore throat and fevers of 102ºF. Physical exam reveals an erythematous pharynx with a white, creamy exudate covering the left tonsil. Palpation of the neck reveals an extremely tender left submandibular lymph node. Throat cultures were taken and reveal beta-hemolytic colonies on blood agar. Susceptibility analysis show growth is not inhibited by amoxicillin, and erythromycin. Growth is inhibited by bacitracin. Which of the following is the mostly likely causal organism?

A. Rhinovirus
B. Streptococcus pyogenes
C. Streptococcus agalactiae
D. Epstein-Barr virus
E. Candida albicans

Answer & Explanation

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