The page below is a sample from the MediaLab course, Case Studies in Clinical Microbiology
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- A 63-year-old man was seen in the emergency room with the complaints of sudden onset of fever, chills, and abdominal pain, accompanied by mild diarrhea. The blood pressure was 140/84, the pulse rate 82/minute, and the body temperature 39.8C. A blood sample was drawn for a complete blood count, and a blood culture.
- A second blood culture was drawn from the opposite arm, with 10 mL of blood being placed into each an aerobic and an anaerobic bottle, following customary practice.
- The complete blood count revealed a hemoglobin of 15.8 mg/dL, a hematocrit of 45%, and a white blood count of 4.2/L. The neutrophils were 39%, lymphocytes 45%, monocytes 10%, eosinophils 4% and basophils 2%. The platelet count was 255/L. The patient was admitted to the hospital for further work-up and empiric antibiotic therapy.
- Within 24 hours after admission, the body temperature had decreased to 38.2C, although the mild diarrhea persisted.
- A stool toxin test for Clostridium difficile was negative and neither enteric pathogens nor Campylobacter species were recovered in stool culture after 24 hours incubation. Fecal neutrophils were not seen on direct examination.
- The anaerobic blood culture became positive 36 hours after inoculation.