Bacterial Diseases Review Questions - Topic 1.
1. What possible outcomes can occur when a new bacterial species enters the gastrointestinal
tract of an adult?
2. How might one area of the body be more suitable for the growth of bacteria than another?
What sites of the body are always sterile, except in pathogenic events?
3. Bacteria deep inside a biofilm may have a different physiology than bacteria at the surface
of the biofilm. Why is this an important consideration during antibiotic treatment of an
infection involving a biofilm? What else could enhance the survival of the embedded
bacteria in a biofilm during antibiotic treatment?
4. How are antiseptics different from disinfectants? Which one would you use if you scraped
your knee and why would you choose it?
5. In the context of antibiotic therapy, what are meant by the terms “selective toxicity” and
6. Describe at least 4 mechanisms by which an antibiotic might affect the growth of a
pathogen. Would any of these mechanisms exist in a human cell? If so, how is it that we
are able to take antibiotics for an infection without harming our cells?
7. Prior to being released into the general population for use as a therapeutic agent, antibiotics
are carefully screened in a series of clinical trials. In addition to selective toxicity, what
other attributes must be carefully considered when designing a new antibiotic?
8. Why are individuals who have undergone long-term antibiotic therapy more susceptible
to infection by opportunistic pathogens?
9. A few days after the death of a hospitalized child from a methicillin-resistant
Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection, another child that had been admitted to
hospital with viral pneumonia, worsened and died. An autopsy revealed that the second
child had also died of MRSA. How did the second child become infected, and how
could this have been prevented?
10. Describe situations where Koch’s postulates may not be applicable.
Bacterial Diseases Review Questions - Topic 2 - Neisseria gonorrhoeae Case Study.
11. Why is the ability to adhere to a host surface important in pathogenicity? Do pathogens
adhere equally well to all epithelial cells?
12. Explain the pathogenesis of N. gonorrhoeae. What is the outcome of most N. gonorrhoeae
infections? What complications, if any, can occur? Are they the same for both genders? 2
13. Microscopy is usually not a useful for identifying pathogens in samples taken from
patients. However, N. gonorrhoeae infections can be sometimes be diagnosed in this
manner in male patients. How can an infection with this pathogen be identified via
microscopy? Why might this procedure not be useful in identifying N. gonorrhoeae
infections in female patients?
14. Explain the basis by which the host is not able to develop immunological memory against
N. gonorrhoeae and thus remains vulnerable to re-infection. In other words, what is the
bacterium doing to evade the host’s adaptive immune response?
Bacterial Diseases Review Questions - Topic 2 - Streptococcus pneumoniae Case Study.
15. What are the symptoms of the diseases caused by S. pneumon