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PEARLS FOR THE USMLE: 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–2. Wild Animals as Reservoirs of Medically Important Organisms

Table XII–3. Insects as Vectors of Medically Important Organisms

Table XII–4. Environmental Sources of Medically Important Organisms

Table XII–5. Main Geographical Location of Medically Important Organisms

Table XII–6. Occupations and Avocations That Increase Exposure to Medically Important Organisms

Table XII–7. Hospital-Related Events That Predispose to Infection by Medically Important Organisms

Table XII–8. Organisms That Commonly Cause Disease in Patients with Immunodeficiencies or Reduced Host Defenses

Table XII–9. Important Factors That Predispose to Infections by Specific Organisms

Table XII–10. Maternal Infections That Pose Significant Risk to the Fetus or Neonate

Table XII–11. Important Skin Lesions Caused by Microorganisms

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

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