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18. Case Wrap-up

Dr. Mitchell was impressed with Jeff’s understanding of antimicrobial agents. “I hope all students learn to think before they use antibiotics on their patients. We need to preserve the efficacy of these drugs for future generations of people and animals.”

He walked over to his lab bench.

“Here are the isolates from the horse and the cats you saw last week. We have also sent subcultures of these isolates to the state public health laboratory to compare with your isolates.”

A couple days later:

Dr. Lange called Jeff and told him the state public health laboratory said the isolate from the cat was Salmonella Enteritidis and the isolate from the horse was Salmonella Typhimurium. Serotyping results from Jeff’s infection indicated that it was a Salmonella Typhimurium. The state public health laboratory had also performed pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) on the Salmonella Typhimurium isolates from Jeff and the horse. PFGE patterns are like genetic “fingerprints.” The Salmonella isolated from Jeff matched the horse isolate.

"The PFGE patterns showed that the horse and your cultures are indistinguishable. It is highly probable that you became infected with Salmonella when caring for that horse at the veterinary clinic.”

Dr. Lange further explained that she had contacted the veterinary clinic and the veterinary school and learned that apparently no other people or horses had become sick.


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