ONPS2118 Medical Microbiology 1

ONPS2118 Medical Microbiology 1



Case History. An 8-year old child was admitted to hospital because of sudden onset of chest pains, fever and a productive cough following an attack of influenza.  The sputum sample was tinged with blood.

The image below shows a Gram-stained sputum sample from the patient.

  1. Describe the sample as you would for a laboratory report.
  2. Based on the case history, and the gram stain appearance, which organism do you suspect? Briefly explain your answer.
  3. Describe the workflow, the confirmatory test/s (with expected results) you would perform to identify the organism.
  4. How might this infection have been prevented?


Case History. A male patient with leukaemia underwent a bone marrow transplant. After 1.5 months in hospital the patient developed respiratory symptoms including: persistent fever, cough and chest pain. The patient was empirically treated with antibiotics but did not respond. Five days after onset of symptoms, a gram stain of a sputum from the patient had the following appearance.

  1. Describe the specimen using appropriate terms.  What infectious agent do you suspect? Explain your answer?
  2. Describe the media, and tests you would use to confirm the identity of the pathogen you suspect?
  3. How might this patient have acquired this infection?
  4. What drugs would be recommended for treatment of this infection?


Case History. A 14 year-old cystic fibrosis (CF) patient was admitted to the hospital for a CF exacerbation with a known rhinovirus infection. The patient reported fever, and congestion and cough with production of greenish sputum. The sputum was cultured on HBA and MAC in O2 and AnO2.

The gram stain had the following appearance:

  1. Describe the specimen using appropriate terms.
  2. Based on the Gram stain appearance, and the case history, which condition is the patient suffering from, and which organism do you suspect?
  3. The isolate grew on both MAC and HBA in O2, and in An O2. The image above shows the appearance on the MAC plate. (the lid is on the right)
  4. Describe the workflow/ media, growth characteristics on the media, and biochemical tests that you would use to confirm the identity of the organism you suspect. Include the expected results for any tests you would use.
  5. Would you test the isolate for antimicrobial susceptibility? Explain your answer.
  6. How might this patient have acquired this infection? Why are CF patients susceptible to infection with this pathogen?

ONPS2118 Medical Microbiology 1

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