Of Mice And Men Inoculating Mice With Viruses

In an experiment involving the ever-unfortunate mice, the following steps occurred:

  • Mice inoculated with influenza virus
  • Th17 cells activated and migrate to respiratory and gastrointestinal systems
    • Both respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts have mucosa, so they are similar in a way
  • Th17 cells produce cytokines IL-17A and IFN-γ
    • These cytokines mess with intestinal bacteria
    • Results in less Lacto-, more Entero-
  • Intestinal injury


  1. Racaniello, V. (2014). How influenza virus infection might lead to gastrointestinal symptoms. [online] virology blog. Available at: http://www.virology.ws/2014/12/10/how-influenza-virus-infection-might-lead-to-gastrointestinal-symptoms/ [Accessed 5 Feb. 2020].

The Microbiological Dangers Of Food

Learning Points

  1. Expired food can smell normal.
  2. Bacteria can immediately infect food that has been dropped on the floor. The risk is higher in wet, squishy things compared to dry substances. It increases with time spent on the ground.
  3. With meat that is considered safe to have rare on the inside, the principle is that cooking the outside sufficiently kills bacteria on the surface.


  1. Moir, C. (2018). Food safety: are the sniff test, the five-second rule and rare burgers safe?. [online] CSIROscope. Available at: https://blog.csiro.au/food-safety-are-the-sniff-test-the-five-second-rule-and-rare-burgers-safe/ [Accessed 13 Jun. 2018].


Croup is formally titled acute laryngotracheobronchitis, but that’s a less catchy name.

It’s a viral upper respiratory tract infection that affects the larynx and trachea. It primarily occurs in children under 5 years old.


Croup attacks kids, so the acronym for symptoms must be in the appropriate theme.


  • Coryzal prodrome
  • Hoarse voice
  • Inspiratory stridor
  • Like a barking seal cough
  • Difficulty breathing


  • Single-dose corticosteroids of any of the following:
    • Dexamethasone orally
    • Prednis(ol)one orally
    • Nebulised budesonide


  • Single-dose nebulised adrenaline if severe
    • Repeat after 30 minutes if no improvement
    • Observe for 4 hours after administration
    • ICU review if ineffective


  1. Croup. In: eTG complete [Internet]. Melbourne: Therapeutic Guidelines Limited (eTG November 2017 edition); 2017 Nov.

Contraindications To Lumbar Puncture

A lumbar puncture is a procedure that involving drawing out cerebrospinal fluid, fondly known as CSF. For example, it can be used to check CSF for immune cells and glucose levels in suspected meningitis.

Lumbar puncture is considered an invasive procedure. But even with that aside, it’s not appropriate for everyone. That is, it does not suit all patients.

Contraindications to lumbar puncture are:

  • Skin infection at the lumbar puncture site
  • Uncorrected coagulopathy
  • Increased intracranial pressure
  • Trauma to the spinal cord


  1. Queen’s University School of Medicine. (n.d.). Contraindications. [online] Available at: https://meds.queensu.ca/central/assets/modules/lumbar_puncture/contraindications.html [Accessed 2 Feb. 2018].

Encapsulated Pathogens

The Glory Of Acronyms

Cheap shortcuts to memorising important facts are a necessary survival mechanism in life.

Fortunately, in this case, there’s the powerful pairing of a nonsensical acronym with several respiratory illness-related pathogens.

When you mix that with pictures of knives, baked beans and a receding water line, anything is possible!



Streptococcus pneumoniae

Haemophilus influenzae B

Neisseria meningitidis

Klebsiella pneumoniae


Salmonella typhi

Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Cryptococcus neoformans


Escherichia coli

Bacillus anthracis

Bordetella pertussis

Streptococcus pyogenes


Not having a spleen increases the risk of or susceptibility to infection with encapsulated bacteria.



  1. Medbullets Team (2017). Encapsulated Bacteria. [online] Medbullets.com. Available at: http://www.medbullets.com/step1-microbiology/4010/encapsulated-bacteria [Accessed 15 Aug. 2017].