Original Publication
Open Access

Bugs and Drugs: An Integrated Case-Based Microbiology-Pharmacology Session on Respiratory Infections

Published: October 23, 2013 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9592

Included in this publication:

  • Bugs and Drugs Respiratory Cases with Answers.docx
  • Bugs and Drugs Respiratory Instructor Guide.docx
  • Bugs and Drugs Respiratory PowerPoint.pptx

To view all publication components, extract (i.e., unzip) them from the downloaded .zip file.

Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


This interactive small-group session integrates microbiology of the respiratory tract with pharmacology (antimicrobials). It is intended as a review following lectures or interactive sessions in basic microbiology, respiratory microbiology, and antimicrobials. This integrated case-based microbiology and pharmacology session reinforces the basic concepts of respiratory microbiology with basic concepts of antimicrobial therapy. The cases require students to recall clinical presentations of various microbes, microbiology laboratory tests, and appropriate antimicrobials for treatment of specific pathogens. During the inaugural year of our curriculum, the students scored lower than anticipated on the microbiology and pharmacology sections of the respiratory course final exam. During the second year of our curriculum we aimed to remedy this and strengthen both disciplines with additional microbiology and pharmacology sessions, such as this. A comparison of final exam scores from the inaugural year and the second year of the respiratory course demonstrated a rise in scores for microbiology- and antimicrobial (pharmacology)-related questions.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this session, learners will be able to:

  1. Generate a microbiologic differential diagnosis based on clinical manifestations described in each case study.
  2. Interpret gram-stain and respiratory culture results.
  3. Choose microbiology laboratory tests to confirm diagnosis.
  4. Review the mechanism of action, resistance mechanisms, and spectrum of activity of common antibiotics and antivirals utilized for infections of the respiratory tract.
  5. Discuss the major adverse effects of select antibiotics.

Author Information

  • Melphine Harriott, PhD: Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
  • Senthil Rajasekaran: Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine

None to report.

None to report.


Harriott M, Rajasekaran S. Bugs and drugs: an integrated case-based microbiology-pharmacology session on respiratory infections. MedEdPORTAL. 2013;9:9592. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9592