As this section on rapid ID systems makes clear, sometimes obtaining a swift and accurate identification for an unknown pathogen can mean the difference between life and death. Appropriate treatment for a disease caused by one pathogen may be ineffective or dangerous for the same disease when caused by a different pathogen.
One approach to take for ID would be to do ALL tests possible on the pathogen on the first day it enters the clinical lab for analysis. This would be very time consuming and expensive. So for this reason, it is important to use critical reasoning and analysis to do only the tests that are necessary and helpful for the ID process. Using rapid ID systems takes the guesswork out of determining which tests to do. However, in the absence of a rapid ID test system, what do you do?
In this virtual exercise, we will be presented with a case study and pure culture of the unknown pathogen. Your role as clinical microbiologist is to get an ID in three days or less using only the minimum number of useful tests to do so. Do this by going to Micro Digital Media Exercise 20 "Save the Patient" and follow the instructions there.
Your instructor will direct you in what documentation to submit for this exercise - VUMIEtm 2012 Virtual Lab Report, MDM Exercise 20, or other. When you are done, you may be asked to take a quiz over this experience.