Chapter 11 - Clinical Corner

A recent outbreak of diphtheria has occurred at the local junior college. When students were examined, it was found that both those infected and those not infected were harboring the Corynebacterium diphtheriae organisms.

A. Why were some students sick and others not?

B. What would you recommend be done to help with this outbreak and to prevent future outbreaks?

You are working in Dr. Richard’s bacteriology laboratory. The work he is doing involves potentially pathogenic microorganisms that could cause respiratory infections. Consequently, all work with these organisms is done under a sterile hood. You have been instructed to thoroughly wipe down the surfaces of the work area under the hood and turn on the UV light when you are finished. Although these instructions are part of the standard operating procedures for all lab personnel, you know that the last technician to work at this hood became sick.

A. Why do you have to turn on a UV light when you finish working?

B. Will the UV light alone be effective at preventing contamination?

C. Why did the other technician become sick?