Case Study

You are a nurse at a community health center where you sometimes treat members of the city’s homeless population. Strangely, many of your homeless patients have been diagnosed with infective endocarditis linked to poor dental health. You must determine what bacteria your patients are infected with, how they should be treated, and describe what preventive measures should be implemented, if any.
Write an essay that investigates this case study.
Read the scenario carefully and hypothesize what microorganism might be involved. Go online and start piecing together this puzzle, trying to figure out which microorganism may be involved. We have provided you with a dichotomous key. It is essentially a roadmap, starting from Gram staining and ending at a particular microbiological media test. At the end of a dichotomous key, all microorganisms are sufficiently differentiated from the others on the list. Use this dichotomous key as a guide when selecting tests to perform in identifying the unknown for your case study. If you are unfamiliar with dichotomous keys, talk to your TA for additional guidance.
For this particular assignment, applying your knowledge and demonstrating proper rationale is more important than identifying the “right microbe”. We want to see that you can follow a rational sequence and set up meaningful experiments to identify an unknown microorganism. As with all assignments, this must be completed in APA format and include primary source citations for any included information that is not common knowledge. If you have questions along the way, don’t hesitate to reach out to your TA. They will be glad to clarify any questions that you may have.
Please see page 2 for question prompts that will guide you through the essay writing process.
Question Prompts
1. Introduction: Introduce your particular case study and explain what it is. Please hypothesize which microorganism you believe may be involved, backing your rationale using primary literature.
2. Methods: Please refer to the provided dichotomous key and identify a minimum of five techniquesthat can be used to identify the unknown microorganism. Briefly indicate the significance of each technique and what it tells us on a biochemical or molecular level (You will go into more detail about the significance of each test in the discussion section). Also be sure to include practical details of how you would perform this test in a laboratory.
3. Results: List the tests in the order that you would perform them. Be sure to indicate the expected result for the bacteria that you hypothesized. For example, if you choose E. coli, you would start by indicating that a Gram stain was performed and that you were able to identify Gram negative rods. Use a photo of Gram stained E. coli obtained online and cite your source. Do this with each of the 5+ tests that you believe will help you identify the unknown.
4. Discussion: You will want to go into detail about the significance of each test performed and how it helped you arrive at your conclusion. For example, if you chose a fermentation test, talk about the significance of a microbe being able to metabolize X compound and what caused the indicator dye to change colors.  You will also want to discuss possible treatments for your scenario. When writing, remember that we want you todemonstrate that your rationale is based on science and not a lucky guess. Remember to add plenty primary sources and include many in-text citations.

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