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INTRODUCTION

Many questions on the USMLE can be answered by knowing the meaning of the epidemiologic information provided in the case description. In order to do this, the student should know the reservoir of the organism, its mode of transmission, and the meaning of factors such as travel, occupation, and exposure to pets, farm animals, or wild animals. Knowledge of the microbes that typically cause disease in individuals with specific immunodeficiencies will also be helpful.

In addition to being useful for the USMLE, this information will prove valuable to make the diagnosis of infectious diseases on the wards and in your clinical practice.

The “Pearls” are presented in tables entitled:

Table XII–1. Farm Animals and Household Pets as Reservoirs of Medically Important Organisms

TABLE XII–1Farm Animals and Household Pets as Reservoirs of Medically Important Organisms

Table XII–2. Wild Animals as Reservoirs of Medically Important Organisms

TABLE XII–2Wild Animals as Reservoirs of Medically Important Organisms

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