Every week, Mayo Clinic microbiologist Bobbi Pritt, M.D., posts a new Parasite Wonders case. This week's case features an unexpected finding on a three-day-old pleural fluid bacterial culture growing on a Mueller-Hinton agar plate. The specimen was from a hospitalized North American adult patient with no travel history.
What are these objects, and what is their likely source? Were they likely from the pleural fluid, the blood culture media (into which the pleural fluid was inoculated), the agar culture media, or the environment? What steps would you take to figure this out?
Every week, Mayo Clinic microbiologist Bobbi Pritt, M.D., posts a new case, along with the answer to the previous case. Read Dr. Pritt's blog, Parasite Wonders, and submit your answers, comments, and questions. Also, visit her website ParasiteWonders.com, which hosts an archive of classic images from cases Dr. Pritt has posted going back to 2007 (in an easy-to-search "A through Z" format) and also offers a flashcard feature.
Dr. Pritt started her blog after she completed her fellowship at Mayo Clinic in clinical microbiology. She attended the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to study parasitology for one year. During that year in England, Dr. Pritt saw some amazing cases, which she shared with her colleagues back at Mayo through her blog. Through word of mouth, people from all walks of life around the globe have become interested in Dr. Pritt’s “case of the week,” and her readership continues to grow.
Note from Dr. Pritt: All opinions expressed here are mine and not my employer's. Information provided here is for medical education only. It is not intended as, and does not substitute for, medical advice. I do not accept medical consults from patients.