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Thread: Which of these is my unknown microorganism?

  1. #1 Which of these is my unknown microorganism? 
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    A woman who gave birth a week earlier was frantically brought to a hospital with septicemia and a very high fever

    I have done an elaborate set of tests to solve the unknown and believe it to be
    1)Streptococcus pyogens
    or
    2)Streptococcus pneumonae

    Which one do you believe to be correct?

    My other options are:

    -Streptococcus bovis
    -Enterococcus faecalis
    -Staphylococcus aureus
    -Staphylococcus epidermis
    -Staphylococcus saprophyticus
    -Micrococcus luteus
    -Micrococcus varians

    However, based on the tests I've done I strongly believe it to be one of the first two. Do they make sense to the scenario? Which one is most likely the unknown?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
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    What do they look like under the microscope?
    Puerperal fever is probably pyogenes.
    Since this is likely a homework question I am making nonmedical guess.


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  4. #3  
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    I really don't know . the one time I looked at it under a microscope was after gram staining to determine if it was positive or negative, once I found that it was positive by seeing the purple bacteria on the slide through the microscope, I took it out and moved onto the next test. So I don't remember that much detail about what it looked like. However it was given to me originally in a test tube as a red liquid if that helps
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  5. #4  
    Moderator Moderator Cogito Ergo Sum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neku View Post
    However, based on the tests I've done I strongly believe it to be one of the first two. Do they make sense to the scenario? Which one is most likely the unknown?

    May I ask you which "elaborate set of tests" you have conducted in order to arrive at the possible strains?
    Are the possible strains as listed in the O.P. sorted in descending order of likeliness?
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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  6. #5  
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    Well it's not really that elaborate, it's for a project. I did a catalase test which was negative, a starch hydrolosis test, which was negative, and for 6.5 % salt it was negative for growth. So based on my flow chart it's between S. Pneumoniae and S. Pyogens the final test to determine between them is a hemolysis test. I didn't get a chance to check on my results for that test, and I'm paranoid the lab tech's might have cleaned them out over the weekend. So I was curious to see if it was possible to distinguish between the final two micro organisms with the scenario itself including the woman who get septis and a high fever a week after giving birth.
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  7. #6  
    Moderator Moderator Cogito Ergo Sum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neku View Post
    Well it's not really that elaborate, it's for a project. I did a catalase test which was negative, a starch hydrolosis test, which was negative, and for 6.5 % salt it was negative for growth. So based on my flow chart it's between S. Pneumoniae and S. Pyogens the final test to determine between them is a hemolysis test. I didn't get a chance to check on my results for that test, and I'm paranoid the lab tech's might have cleaned them out over the weekend. So I was curious to see if it was possible to distinguish between the final two micro organisms with the scenario itself including the woman who get septis and a high fever a week after giving birth.

    If you have the chance to perform additional tests, I would try to set up an inulin fermentation test (if your hemolysis test is discarded by the staff).
    A positive result of the inulin fermentation test indicates the presence of S. pneumoniae.

    However, based on the symptoms alone, I cannot state with certainty which of the two strains is responsible.
    I apologize if I have not provided a satisfying answer.
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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  8. #7  
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    It's okay thank you so much anyway!
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  9. #8  
    Forum Masters Degree mat5592's Avatar
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    Hemolysis should be one of the first observable characteristics. You would actually know this even before the catalase result. You know that it's catalase negative, so the hemolysis determines what testing you do from there. If it's beta hemolytic then it's likely either S. pyogenes or S. agalactiae. You could perform a CAMP test or Streptex to differentiate the two. If it's alpha hemolytic then it's likely either S. pneumo or Viridans strep. You could do an optochin sensitivity or bile solubility to differentiate them. You didn't provide enough info here to determine what it is. Microscopic morphology would help (gram positive diplococci would indicate S. pneumo), and of course if we had the hemolysis description it would be much easier.
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  10. #9  
    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neku View Post
    I really don't know . the one time I looked at it under a microscope was after gram staining to determine if it was positive or negative, once I found that it was positive by seeing the purple bacteria on the slide through the microscope, I took it out and moved onto the next test. So I don't remember that much detail about what it looked like. However it was given to me originally in a test tube as a red liquid if that helps
    It was obvious a test answer/question. A person with sepsis will not be tested for what bacteria they have, for treatment. As when the results are in, the patient will be dead. The red liquid you got was probably spiked blood (sheep blood with some bacteria mixed with it). S.pyogenis is too obvious as a suspect, as it is a beta-haemolitic bacteria (all red blood cells will be fragments, and the red liquid will be clear), and it grows in tight chains (really unmistakable). And S.pneumoniae grows more in duplo, and is alpha-haemolitic so it will be slightly less clear.

    My guess would be S.pneumoniae. Also because it is a more common Streptococcus, and it grows less obvious.
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