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Anonymous asked: will you tell me more stories
Plates are stored inverted. I, like most people, pick up plates without picking up the lid and once in a while something stringy and mucoid drips on my hands. Incidentally, microbiology is the one department where you pretty much never wear gloves (exceptions are during planting, staining, certain tests, and if your hands are mangled). But that’s just bacteria, often of the P. aeruginosa variety. Sometimes (rarely), you can pick up a BAP from someone’s stool but little critters have hatched and they are crawling around the plate and lid. It’s always an unpleasant surprise for everyone when you’re expecting a bacterial pathogen and get a plate full of parasites.
But those are generally quite small. 3 weeks ago, the microbiology lab received a pickle jar for a specimen and everyone was perplexed by this until they looked inside and someone had scooped a couple of full grown roundworms out of their toilet bowl.
A very iconic SEM of Salmonella Typhimurium causing ruffling as it invades a cell. Unfortunately, I have no idea on the source for this image.
Not too long ago, someone submitted a container full of suspected pineapple juice for a substance of abuse screen. It almost managed to get past the toxicology ladies because it was so ridiculous, but one of the girls was adamant about it being pineapple juice and offered to drink it to prove her point. Although she did not drink it, she turned out to be right and the urine was not just from a person with rampant diabetes.
People do some strange things to avoid being caught.
Reed Sternberg cell in Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
You don’t see them in bone marrow aspirates very often (they are usually in the trephine biopsy).
A faggot cell seen in acute promyelocytic leukemia. A really bad leukemia to leave undiagnosed, but a really easy one to treat. Faggot cells are named for the numerous auer rods filling the cytoplasm.
Feces bench is one of my favourite benches in Microbiology for all the colours, although this plate looks like it is at least 2-3 days old.
Image by Dr. Torsten Wittmann, UCSF.
Movat’s pentachrome stain. We don’t use it in our region, but it’s nice to look at once in a while because all the pinks and purples in routine hematoxylin and eosin are not very exciting.
A flame cell, a plasma cell variant that overproduces IgA antibodies. IgA antibodies are loaded with carbohydrates which stain red with a routine Wright’s stain.
Trichinella spiralis encysting in some muscle with a routine H&E stain.
When doing Ova and Parasites, patients fill out a history form for us. Either many seem to think it is a joke or our form is not very good. One time, someone put “Narnia” as their last travel destination. And for the yes/no question of “known carrier?”, people like to write, “Air Canada”. Although these botched forms are not useful, I still enjoy reading them.