STUDY QUESTIONS IN MEDICAL MICROBIOLOGY

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BACTERIOLOGY

  1. Define bacteriology.
  2. Explain the different morphological forms or shapes of bacteria.
  3. What is inoculum size?
  4. What is pathogenicity and virulence?
  5. Succinctly explain bacterial toxins and their role in pathogenicity.
  6. Differentiate between endotoxins and exotoxins.
  7. Briefly describe bacterial extracellular enzymes and their role in pathogenicity.
  8. Describe in detail pathogenicity islands.
  9. In full details describe the pathogenicity of Bacillus anthracis.
  10. Explain the clinical significance of cAMP in the pathogenicity of Vibrio cholerae.
  11. Describe in full details the pathogenicity of two Gram-positive cocci and two Gram-negative rods of your choice.
  12. Describe the morphology of the causative agent of diphtheria.
  13. Why is Haemophilus influenzae often called blood sucking bacterium?
  14. What is satellitism?
  15. Describe the role of mycolic acid in the pathogenesis and laboratory diagnosis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
  16. Succinctly explain the Mantoux test.
  17. What is botulism?
  18. Mention the causative agent of pseudomembranous colitis in man.
  19. What is cystitis, bacteremia and septicaemia?
  20. Briefly describe urinary tract infections (UTIs) based on their causative agent, pathogenesis, laboratory detection, treatment and prevention and control. 
  21. In full details describe the five pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli.
  22. Briefly describe the morphological appearance of E. coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa on culture/growth media.
  23. Explain the pathogenesis of bacterial vaginosis in women.
  24. Mention the bacterium that is known as swarming organism.
  25. Describe the pathogenicity of any obligate intracellular bacterium of your choice.
  26. How does urease production encourage the pathogenesis of Helicobacter pylori?       
  27. Succinctly explain the quellung reaction test.
  28. Why is Listeria monocytogenes often called a psychrotolerant organism?
  29. Explain the phrase listeriosis.  
  30. What is the causative agent of Lyme disease?
  31. Why does Mycoplasma have a stronger cytoplasmic membrane than other bacteria?
  32. Describe L-form bacteria.
  33. What are biofilms?
  34. Describe the significance of quorum sensing in the pathogenesis of pathogenic bacteria.
  35. What is quorum sensing?
  36. Explain the position of quorum sensing in microbial interactions.
  37. What are auto inducers?
  38. Explain in detail the different stages involved in the development of biofilm. 
  39. Briefly name and describe the various shapes of bacteria.
  40. What is toxigenicity?
  41. Describe in details the features of a pathogenic microorganism.
  42. Write a short note on bacterial exotoxins.
  43. What are endotoxins?
  44. Define enterotoxins.
  45. Enumerate the features of bacterial endotoxins and enterotoxins.
  46. Briefly describe the various bacterial enzymes involved in bacterial pathogenicity/virulence.
  47. Write a short note on the causative agent, pathogenicity, laboratory diagnosis and treatment of listeriosis.
  48. Enumerate the net effect of cholera infection in humans.
  49. What is the causative agent of traveler’s diarrhea?
  50. Explain in details, the medical and industrial significance of actinomycetes.

ORAL INFECTIONS

  1. What is dental caries?
  2. Succinctly explain periodontitis and mention the microorganisms implicated.
  3. Differentiate the different forms of periodontitis.
  4. Summarize the microbiology of gingivitis.
  5. What is dental plaque?
  6. Mention the Gram negative and Gram positive bacteria implicated in dental plaque.
  7. Briefly describe halitosis.
  8. Explain briefly the different forms of halitosis.
  9. Enumerate measures taken to avoid halitosis.
  10. Streptococci organisms are known as cariogenic bacteria. Explain.
  11. What is halitophobia?
  12. What is a disclosing agent?
  13. Enumerate any 8 components of the human tooth.
  14. What are the two most dominant streptococci species in dental plaque?
  15. Define root caries.
  16. With suitable examples, define acidogenic bacteria and briefly explain their medical significance in tooth infection.
  17. What are cariogenic organisms as it relates to dental infection or disease?
  18. Differentiate between acute traumatic gingivitis (ATG) and acute necrotizing gingivitis (ANG).
  19. How does glossitis differ from cheilitis?
  20. Briefly explain acute allergic gingivitis (AAG).
  21. Succinctly explain the various types of periodontitis.
  22. What is periodontal membrane?
  23. Outline some of the foul-smelling compounds produced in the mouth as a result of the metabolic activity of oral bacteria.
  24. With suitable examples, explain what oral bacteria means.

MYCOLOGY

  1. What is mycology?
  2. How is Sabouraud dextrose agar (SDA) different from bacteriological media?
  3. Define diphasic or dimorphic fungi.
  4. Succinctly describe slime moulds and mushrooms.
  5. Enumerate the significance of fungi to mankind.
  6. Briefly describe mycorrhizae and endophytes.
  7. What are phytopathogens?
  8. Succinctly describe the fungal thallus based on mycelium and hyphae.
  9. What is coenocytic hypha?
  10. What are imperfect fungi?
  11. What class of fungi is mushroom classified under?
  12. Mention two species of mushrooms that are edible.
  13. Briefly describe the 3 divisions of perfect fungi.
  14. What are aflatoxins?
  15. Briefly describe budding in yeast cells.
  16. Succinctly explain reproduction in fungi.
  17. What is mycosis?
  18. What is the causative agent of white piedra and black piedra?
  19. Describe in details dermatophytes.
  20. What is the causative agent of sporotrichosis?
  21. Briefly describe superficial mycoses, cutaneous and subcutaneous mycoses.
  22. Enumerate five causative agents of systemic mycoses.
  23. Define opportunistic mycosis with two examples of its causative agents.
  24. What are the causative agents, pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of paracoccidioidomycosis, coccidioidomycosis, blastomycosis, histoplasmosis and candidiasis?
  25. List five mycoses caused by opportunistic fungi and enumerate their causative agents.
  26. What are mycotoxins?
  27. Briefly describe the significance of potassium hydroxide (KOH) and lactophenol cotton blue mount/stain in the laboratory diagnosis of fungal infections.
  28. What are lichens?
  29. Brief explain the wood lamp examination.
  30. Explain in details the importance of lichens to mankind. 
  31. How do exogenous fungal infections differ from endogenous fungal infections?
  32. How do mycobiont differ from phycobiont?
  33. Mention two moulds that are notorious in causing spoilage of bread.
  34. Diagrammatically illustrate the structure of Rhizopus species.
  35. What are endophytes?
  36. Define budding.
  37. Briefly describe the antimicrobial significance of lichen metabolites.
  38. What is ergotism?
  39. What is the causative agent of ergot disease in plants?
  40. With examples of their types, briefly describe slime moulds.
  41. Diagrammatically illustrate budding in yeast cells.
  42. Define mycotoxicoses.
  43. What is the causative agent of Pityriasis?
  44. What are the causative agents of Tinea barbae and Tinea capitis?
  45. Outline two main causative agents of onchomycosis.
  46. What is another name for athlete’s foot?
  47. Enumerate and briefly explain the three forms of lichens.
  48. A seven year old boy from a rural area where sanitation and access to potable water is poor has advancing red circular patches around his skin especially on his head and some parts of the back and neck region. As a mycologist, briefly describe the possible causative agents of this infection and explain its clinical feature. Also mention which type of fungal infection it is.
  49. Briefly describe the causative agent, clinical feature and site of infection of Coccidioidomycosis in humans.
  50. Mention the causative agent of pneumocystosis.
  51. What is mycotoxicology?    
  52. Describe chromoblastomycosis; and outline the five causative agents of this type of mycosis.

VIROLOGY

  1. What is virology?
  2. Succinctly describe the biology of viruses.
  3. What is a virion?
  4. Briefly explain the terms bacteriophage and plaque.
  5. What are interferons?
  6. Describe in details the several ways in which viruses differ from other living cells.
  7. Describe in details the function of reverse transcriptase in the replication of RNA viruses.
  8. Enumerate the economic importance of virus.
  9. Describe the medical significance of prions.
  10. What are viroids?
  11. X-ray the chemical and physical properties of viruses.
  12. How can a viral cell be inactivated?
  13. Describe in details the several components of a virus.
  14. How are viruses classified?
  15. Describe in details the different stages involved in the pathogenesis and/or replication of a virus.
  16. What is apoptosis?
  17. What is Guillain-Barré syndrome?
  18. Describe how the host cell defends itself from a viral infection.
  19. What is Erythema infectiosum?
  20. Mention the causative agent of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy and describe briefly the clinical condition of the disease.
  21. Using examples differentiate RNA viruses from DNA viruses.
  22. What is a provirus?
  23. What species of mosquito transmits Zika virus and Chikungunya virus to man?
  24. Explain in details the acronym HAART.
  25. Describe HIV based on its pathogenesis, laboratory diagnosis and treatment.
  26. What are arboviruses?
  27. What are haemorrhagic fever viruses?
  28. What is an aerogenical transmission?
  29. Differentiate between antigenic drift and antigenic shift.
  30. Briefly explain the medical significance of viruses in the Caliciviridae family and Picornaviridae family.
  31. Explain the medical significance of rotaviruses.
  32. Describe Lassa fever bases on its causative agent, pathogenesis, animal host, treatment and prevention 
  33. What re the four main causative agents of ebola?
  34. What is the causative agent of SARS?
  35. Describe in details viral cultivation.
  36. What is cytopathic effect?
  37. Explain hemadsorption as it relates to viral cultivation.
  38. What is plaque-forming unit (PFU)?
  39. What is egg candling?
  40. Describe in details viral cultivation using embryonated egg.
  41. Describe in details the factors that encourage the pathogenesis/virulence of a pathogenic virus.
  42. Describe in details the transmission, pathogenesis, laboratory diagnosis, treatment and prevention of EVD.
  43. What is contact tracing?
  44. Why is Zika virus infection called a pandemic and notifiable disease?
  45. Define the term vaccine.
  46. Describe in details the different types of vaccines.
  47. Why is viral haemorrhagic fever referred to as a multisystem syndrome? 
  48. Describe in details Zika virus bases on its causative agent, symptoms, pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
  49. Mention two other viral diseases caused by Filoviruses and which are transmitted to man by arthropods.
  50. What is the function of replicase enzyme in the replication of RNA viruses?

IMMUNOLOGY

  1. Define immunology.
  2. With examples briefly describe antigens.
  3. What are antibodies?
  4. Succinctly describe the human immune system.
  5. What is immunity?
  6. How does the body recognize a previous infection and mount attack against it.
  7. Briefly describe how the field of immunology was started. 
  8. What are autoimmune diseases?
  9. Define autoantibodies.
  10. Some pathogenic microorganisms (e.g., Mycobacterium Tuberculosis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae) are generally classified as intracellular pathogens. Explain this statement and exhaustively discuss why immune response to such pathogens is different from immune response to other pathogens (e.g., Staphylococcus aureus) which are not intracellular parasites.
  11. What is adaptive immune system?
  12. Describe in detail the effect of thymectomy in mouse.
  13. Explain the cell-mediated immunity.
  14. What is humoural immunity/antibody-mediated immunity?
  15. Enumerate and state the functions of primary lymphoid organs in immune response. 
  16. Define haptens.
  17. Describe in detail the effect of bursectomy in chicken. 
  18. What are immunogens?
  19. What are epitopes?
  20. Enumerate and state the functions of the secondary lymphoid organs in immune response.
  21. How does immunogenicity differ from antigenicity?
  22. Write a concise note on the characteristics of antigens.
  23. How do exogenous antigens differ from endogenous antigens?
  24. Diagrammatically describe an antibody.
  25. Write a concise note on the different classes of antibodies.
  26. Define agglutination.
  27. What is opsonization?
  28. Succinctly describe phagocytosis.
  29. What are phagocytes?
  30. What is the full meaning of the acronym ADCC? 
  31. Define affinity as it relates to antigen-antibody reaction.
  32. What is an antigen-antibody reaction?
  33. Define complement.
  34. With examples, briefly describe the complement system.
  35. Which class of antibody is abundantly found in body secretions?
  36. Define colostrum and succinctly explain its immunological significance in newborns.
  37. Why is immunoglobulin M (IgM) generally referred to as a “pentamer”?
  38. Which class of antibody is mainly involved in allergic/hypersensitivity reaction?
  39. Describe complementarity determining regions (CDRs) as it relates to antigen-antibody reaction.
  40. What is avidity?
  41. Define cross-reactivity.
  42. What is precipitation reaction?
  43. Write the full meaning of the acronym “ELISA”; and succinctly explain its significance in the diagnosis of infectious diseases.
  44. What is haematopoiesis?
  45. With examples describe lymphocytes.
  46. What are dendritic cells (DC)?
  47. Write a concise note on major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules.
  48. Describe the three types of MHC molecules.
  49. What are incompetent B cells?
  50. In details, describe the process of B cell maturation in any organism of your choice.
  51. What are effector cells?
  52. Define clonal selection.
  53. With examples, describe the primary lymphoid organs.
  54. Using suitable examples, describe the secondary lymphoid organs.
  55. What does “MALT” stand for?
  56. What are hybridomas?
  57. Define monoclonal antibodies.
  58. How do monoclonal antibodies differ from polyclonal antibodies?
  59. Describe innate immunity in details while giving examples of this type of invulnerability.
  60. What is adaptive immunity?
  61. Describe the four types of adaptive immunity.
  62. What are toxoids?
  63. Differentiate between primary immune response and secondary immune response.
  64. In a tabular form, differentiate between innate immunity and adaptive immunity.
  65. Define antigen presentation.
  66. Mention the effector cells of humoural immunity and cell-mediated immunity.
  67. Define hypersensitivity reaction.
  68. What is the full meaning of the acronym HLA?
  69. Succinctly describe the four types of allergic reactions.
  70. Describe in details the immunological process of erythroblastosis fetalis.
  71. Define inflammation and outline its characteristics.
  72. What is transplantation?
  73. What are reasons responsible for the failure of the immune system to the extent that autoimmune diseases develop?
  74. What is graft versus host disease (GVHD)?
  75. Define alloantigens.
  76. Enumerate and succinctly explain the different types of graft.    

BIOCHEMICAL TESTS / MICROBIOLOGY LABORATORY

  1. What is a pure culture?
  2. X-ray the task of a bacteriologist.
  3. What is a bacterial smear?
  4. Succinctly enumerate the procedure of making bacterial smear.
  5. Outline and explain the use of any 5 staining technique used in the clinical microbiology laboratory.
  6. Define heat-fixing and explain its significance in microbial identification.
  7. Succinctly describe the significance of Gram staining technique in microbial identification.
  8. Outline the procedure involved in Gram staining technique.
  9. Define Gram variable bacteria and Gram indeterminate bacteria.
  10. What is the main function of lugols iodine in Gram staining technique?
  11. Mention two decolourizing agents that can be used in the Gram staining technique.
  12. When is stool culture required in microbiology analysis?
  13. When is blood culture required in microbiology analysis?
  14. Define bacteraemia, septicaemia and fungimia. 
  15. Describe the significance of urine culture technique in clinical diagnosis.
  16. Mention four solid culture media that are universally used for urine culture technique.
  17. Describe the importance of cystein lactose electrolyte deficient medium in urine culture.
  18. What is the colonial and/or morphological appearance of Escherichia coli on MacConkey agar?
  19. When is sputum culture recommended as a laboratory analysis?
  20. Define and explain the importance of anaerobic jar.
  21. Briefly describe the importance of the improve neubauer counting chamber in microbiology investigations.
  22. Outline 5 procedures involved in semen microscopy.
  23. What is the significance of semen culture?
  24. Briefly describe sperm cell based on its motility.
  25. What is the function of sodium bicarbonate formalin in semen microscopy?
  26. Diagrammatically describe a sperm cell.
  27. When is urogenital and/or vaginal swab recommended in microbiology analysis?
  28. Mention the protozoan mostly implicated in vaginosis or vaginal infections.
  29. What is satellitism?
  30. Describe the satellitism test.
  31. What does “X factor” and “V factor” stand for in the satellitism test?
  32. Briefly describe the importance of parasitology laboratory in clinical diagnosis of parasitic diseases.
  33. Differentiate between ectoparasites and endoparasites.
  34. Define concentration technique and briefly describe any two concentration techniques used in parasitology laboratory.
  35. Briefly describe the procedure involved in wet preparation of stool samples in the parasitology laboratory.
  36. What is occult blood?
  37. When is occult blood test (OBT) recommended in clinical diagnosis?
  38. Why are patients meant for OBT asked to avoid eating meat or vegetables prior to the test?
  39. Describe the importance of skin snip test.
  40. What is the significance of nitrite in urine sample?
  41. What is the functional unit of the kidney?
  42. Define virology?
  43. What is an antibody?
  44. Define antigen.
  45. Mention the causative agent of syphilis and describe the significance of VDRL test in its diagnosis.
  46. Widal test is used in the laboratory diagnosis of salmonella infections especially in typhoid and paratyphoid cases. This test looks out for the presence of “O” and “H” antigens in the patient’s serum. Define what “O” and “H” stands for.
  47. Which titer value is said to be a significant titer value in Widal test?
  48. Differentiate between streptolysin O and streptolysin S; and describe their significance in the serological diagnosis of streptococcus infection.
  49. What is rheumatoid factor (RF)?
  50. Describe briefly the rheumatoid factor (RF) test and its significance in the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.
  51. How does plasma differ from serum?
  52. Define autoantibody and autoimmunity.
  53. What is mycology?
  54. What is the function of potassium hydroxide (KOH) in microscopical analysis of fungal specimens?
  55. Why is Sabouraud dextrose agar (SDA) selective for only fungi?
  56. What is the function of cycloheximide and chloramphenicol in SDA?
  57. Describe the clinical significance of the germ tube test.
  58. Succinctly define biochemical test and describe their significance in the diagnosis of infectious diseases.
  59. Briefly define and describe coagulase test.          
  60. Outline the procedure involved in performing catalase test.
  61. Describe briefly the biochemical test used for the identification of Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the clinical microbiology laboratory.
  62. Mention the name of the pH indicator found in citrate agar.
  63. Klebsiella pneumoniae is urease positive and citrate positive. Briefly describe these two biochemical test.
  64. What is the function of Durham’s tube in sugar fermentation test?
  65. Write a short note on triple sugar iron agar (TSIA), nitrate reduction test and voges proskauer (VP) test. 
  66. With suitable examples, briefly describe the 3 types of haemolysis carried out by bacteria on blood agar plates.
  67. Define amylase test.
  68. Briefly describe methyl red (MR) test and hydrogen sulphide (H2S) test.
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