Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Medical catechisms ..learning the art of mnemonics and staying informed

The life of a doctor is hard. Always reading and updating but forgetting concepts in between. I find mnemonics a very useful way of remembering medical facts which are difficult to remember.Sometimes,one remembers the mnemonic and forgets what it is all about.An occupational hazard,generally  and not early onset Alzheimers.

How does one remember all the bacteria that are urease positive? The answer is Latin ..ish catechisms

"Prote Crypto Helico! UNK..Ureaplas Nocardi Klebsi! StrEpiderm SSaprophyticus"

followed by potentiate stru vite cal culi...  was not so hard,after all.  What we have here is the entire list of bacteria that are able to secrete urease and give a positive urease test.
Urease hydrolyses urea to ammonia and carbon dioxide. This increases the pH of urine leading to the next step-potentiate struvite calculi  -ammonium magnesium phosphate stones!

So next time you think about urease positive bacteria apart from helicobacter pylori..you can remember the complete forms..
Proteus  Cryptocococcus Helicobacter!  Ureaplasma Nocardia Klebsiella! Strep Epidermidis and Staph Saprophyticus.   You nailed it now..:-)

Catechism 2: 
" Nocardi Pseudo Listeri!ACE.. Aspergi Candida Ecoli! Staphylo Serratia B cepacia Helico"

You can guess the names of all the bacteria that are catalase positive now.

Catalase enzyme degrades hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen bubbles before it can be converted to microbicidal products by the enzyme myeloperoxidase.
Patients with chronic granulomatous disease have NADPH deficiency and get recurrent infections with catalase positive bacteria. 

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