Identification and Categorizing of Microbes – Applied Research Example

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The paper ' Identification and Categorizing of Microbes' is a wonderful example of applied researchMulti-resistant organisms (MROs) are often difficult to detect because they are varied and complex in nature thus results in various healthcare-associated infections. As stated by Sharpe & Schmidt (2011 p. 103), hospital staffs of New South Wales (NSW) have implemented and maintained high infection control standards and programs in order to minimize Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI). However, some patients will still remain vulnerable to HAI while in hospitals. According to Kramer et al (2006 p. 31), Clinicians and hospitals within NSW often take an active part in local and national programs to reduce the risk of acquiring the infection.

However, patients who are seriously unwell such as those living with diabetes and those recovering from burns often have reduced immunity to fight infection thus remain vulnerable to HAI. Identification and categorizing of microbes is important in not only reducing the risks but also in using the right antibiotics and or prophylactic vaccination. Gross and microscopic morphology are one of the methods used to identify microbes. Gross morphology includes size, the shape of the colony and features on the surface of microbes (Mirlei et al, 2013 p. 230).

The basic forms of morphology include bacillus which is rounded end and coccus that are spheres. Within the cocci category, aggregation occur leading to differentiated shapes and the basic forms are diplococci (pairs), Micrococci (groups of more than four), streptococci (bead-like chains) and staphylococci (grapelike clusters) (Jacobs & Van, 2008 p. 337). Bacillus is also used to describe rod-shaped bacteria which are often found in many taxonomic groups of bacteria but there is little relationship between the bacterium’ s shape and its gram staining colour.

The third microbe morphology is spiral microbes which can be further sub-classified as spirochetes, vibrio and spirilla. As stated by Boa et al (2013 p. 56), these sub-units are based on the number of cell thickness, twists per cell, motility and cell flexibility. Gram staining is one of the commonly used methods to differentiate microbes after examination under light microscopy and beyond the genus level. The gram staining procedure is used to categorize microbes according to the biochemical composition of the bacteria and the distribution of biochemical within the microbial cells.

Gram-negative bacteria are those that contain lipopolysaccharides which play an important role in regulating the permeability of the cell among other functions. Gram-positive bacteria’ s cell walls on the other hand contain peptidoglycan present in a thick layer. In this procedure, gram-negative bacteria get the counterstain (safranin) which is pink or red colour while Gram-positive bacteria retain the primary crystal violet dye (Mirlei et al, 2013 p. 230). According to Sharpe & Schmidt (2011 p. 103), a good number of differential and selective media are often used in medical, pollution laboratories, diagnostic or food and dairy labs.

One of the commonly used selective and differential media is MacConkey, used to select Gram-negative lactose fermenting organisms. However, this does not specifically identify which Gram-negative lactose fermenting bacteria. Biochemical tests are used to identify closely related organisms as in the case above. As stated by Decker & Slawson (2012 p. 590), biochemical tests are specifically used to identify different metabolic properties of different species of bacteria. According to Sharpe & Schmidt (2011 p. 104), the use of appropriate prophylactic vaccine as well as antibiotics thus one has to have the right knowledge of the identity of the microbe in order to develop the right antibiotic thus reduce or eliminate risks. Aims of the Experiment The aim of this experiment is to examine fungal and bacterial morphology, aseptically sample microbes, culture in agar plate and identify the principal modes of transmission of the infectious agents.

This experiment also aims at exploring the skills underlying appropriate specimen collection and transport, infectious disease diagnosis, use of selective and differential media and biochemical testing in microbiological diagnosis. Methods Refer to PP3 Practical and tutorial manual 2014 Results Table 1: Efficacy of Various Antibiotics Antibiotic Staphylococcus aureus   Streptococcus Pneumonia Escherichia Coli   Pseudomonas Proteus Penicillin 38mm S 23mm S 0mm R 0mm R 18mm I Cephalexin 32mm S 18mm S 19mm I 0mm R 17mm I vancomycin 15mm S 20mm S 0mm R 0mm R 0mm R Gentamycin 23mm S 12mm R 24mm I 2mm S 20mm I Chloramphenicol 25mm S 30mm S 25mm S 0mm R 9mm R Carbenicillin 52mm S 30mm s 30mm s 22mm S 30mm S   Discussions Studies published earlier have shown that colonisation of hospital environment in various settings varies at a great level.

Studies show that different environments have different impacts on the level of colonisation. This study is also expected to get similar results though it is expected that hospital settings would result in a higher number of microorganisms especially staphylococcus aureus more than the other settings. As demonstrated in the study by Anderson & Palombo (2009 p. 508), in figure 1, pathogenic microorganisms constitute higher counts in the hospital environment. Other previous studies have also reported varying and interesting results.

According to Rutala et al (2006 p. 273), this study investigated a number of organisms present in both multiple used and singled used equipment. The result of this study was consistent with the previous results since the amounts of microbial growth from swabs of multiple used hospital equipment and environment were reported to be more. However, other potentially pathogenic bacteria; Enterococcus, E. coli and Enterobacter were isolated from multiple users or shared equipment by clinicians or patients and.

While our study investigates only three bacteria, it was expected that our results will be the same as these results tough the swabs from hospital settings is expected to give more colonies for S. Aureus. While there is very little study on the efficacy of antibiotics on surfaces, the available study shows that various antibiotics are effective against various microbial available on the environment (Bloomfield et al 2007 p. S62). However, there is conflicting empirical data since some studies have reported that certain microbial exhibit resistance to a number of antibiotics used in the market.

This study was expected to give different results due to the fact that despite the extensive use of these antibiotics, there is still cross-contamination especially within the hospital settings. Several investigations have studied the level of contamination of microorganisms from the surfaces of both porous and non-porous objects. Empirical data has supported the argument that non-porous surfaces are more likely to have pathogenic microorganisms persisting on surfaces compared to non-porous surfaces.   Concerns have been raised that contact with surfaces, environment and contaminated equipment is likely to act as a reservoir with potentially pathogenic microorganisms leading to cross-contamination.

The results of this study are expected to correlate with the outcome of other studies conducted earlier. Conclusions and Implications to Nursing Practice There are a number of comprehensive and combination of tools used by microbiologists including basic culture, microscopy and biochemical tests upon which microbes can be identified and categorized. Genetic profiling is however one of the best tools that will make a remarkable impact on the ability to rapidly identify an unknown pathogen.

It is however important to capture other information that is not within the genome in order to develop even more effective antibiotics. While a lot has been done on enumerating bacterial prevalence on the hospital environment, there is very little research investigating the efficacy of various surface cleaners, antibiotics and antibacterial agents. The results of this study would therefore bring in new knowledge in this area of research. The findings in this investigation are intended to reduce cross-contamination resulting from poor or inefficient antibiotics and disinfectants in hospitals and non-hospital facilities. Research has shown that various pathogenic bacteria are capable of surviving on the surfaces and likely to affect the vulnerable, hence there is need understand the types of microorganisms present, their properties and how they are affected by antibiotics.

This information is important since it would form the basis for intervention programs necessary to reduce contamination by pathogenic microbes.


Anderson, G, & Palombo, E 2009, 'Microbial contamination of computer keyboards in a university setting', AJIC: American Journal Of Infection Control, 6, p. 507-509.

Bloomfield, S, Aiello, A, Cookson, B, O'Boyle, C, & Larson, E 2007, 'The effectiveness of hand hygiene procedures in reducing the risks of infections in home and community settings including hand washing and alcohol-based hand sanitizers', AJIC: American Journal Of Infection Control, 35, Supplement 1, pp. S27-S64

Boa, T, Rahube, T, Fremaux, B, Levett, P, & Yost, C 2013, 'Prevalence of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococci Species Isolated From Computer Keyboards Located in Secondary and Postsecondary Schools', Journal Of Environmental Health, 75, 6, pp. 50-58.

Decker, J, & Slawson, R 2012, 'An Evaluation of Behavioural Health Compliance and Microbial Risk Factors on Student Populations Within a High-Density Campus', Journal Of American College Health, 60, 8, pp. 584-595.

Jacobs, J, & Van Ranst, M 2008, 'Biometric Fingerprinting for Visa Application: Device and Procedure Are Risk Factors for Infection Transmission', Journal Of Travel Medicine, 15, 5, pp. 335-343.

Kramer, A, Schwebke, I, & Kampf, G 2006, 'How long do nosocomial pathogens persist on inanimate surfaces? A systematic review', BMC Infectious Diseases, 6, 1, pp. 130-8

Mirlei Rossi, E, Scapin, D, & Tondo, E 2013, 'Survival and transfer of microorganisms from kitchen sponges to surfaces of stainless steel and polyethylene', Journal Of Infection In Developing Countries, 7, 3, pp. 229-234

Rutala, W, White, M, Gergen, M, & Weber, D 2006, 'Bacterial contamination of keyboards: efficacy and functional impact of disinfectants', Infection Control And Hospital Epidemiology: The Official Journal Of The Society Of Hospital Epidemiologists Of America, 27, 4, pp. 372-377.

Sharpe, P, & Schmidt, M 2011, 'Control and Mitigation of Healthcare-Acquired Infections: Designing Clinical Trials To Evaluate New Materials and Technologies', Health Environments Research & Design Journal (HERD), 5, 1, pp. 94-115

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