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Sterility and Infection

1. Why do you need a sterile tongue depressor to obtain a sterile throat culture? What might be the outcome of a throat culture if the tongue depressor was not sterile?

2. How does an active infection occur in the urinary tract? Which factors in the urinary tract predispose humans toward urinary tract infections?

3. What makes hospital patients more susceptible to organisms that are normally found in a hospital setting?

4. Explain how milk can become a variety of different cheeses.

5. Explain the difference between food intoxication and food infections.

6. Discuss specific instances and assignments throughout the course that have changed your perception of the importance of microbiology?

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1) The sterility of the tongue depressor ensures that any bacteria detected via the culture was resident in the throat, as opposed to being introduced via the non-sterile tongue depressor. If the tongue depressor was non-sterile, a false positive of an infection may occur, although this is not likely.

2) The urinary tract is warm and wet, which is practically perfect for bacterial infections. An active infection typically occurs when a patient comes in contact with a highly infectious pathogen (e.g. chlamydia), and/or hasn't urinated enough - the latter being capable of physically flushing away bacteria from the urinary tract if they choose to reside. Typically the infection starts at the very distal part of the urinary tract, the end of the urethra, where it is most exposed to the external environment, then travels ...

Solution Summary

In the following posting, the expert examines sterility and infections by using a tongue depressor.