Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 228

Just when you thought your brain could unwind on a Friday, you realise that it would rather be challenged with some good old fashioned medical trivia FFFF, introducing the Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 228

Question 1

Who is the Berlin patient?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Timothy Ray Brown

Arguably the first person to be cured of HIV. There are other patients who have undetectable viral loads and are off antiviral therapy but still contain the virus in the their body. Timothy is the first person to be completely sterilised of HIV.

Timothy was diagnosed in 1995 with HIV but in 2006 he developed acute myeloid leukaemia requiring a bone marrow transplant. His doctor, Dr Gero Hutter matched him for a donor with a mutation on the CCR5 receptor. For most HIV viruses the CCR5 receptor is the key for entering the cell, without it the virus fails.

Question 2

In 1909 I was a protazoan…
In 1999 I became a fungus…

What am I?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Pneumocystis jiroveci Frenkel, formally PCP

Pneumocystis organisms were first reported by Chagas in 1909 but he mistook them for a morphologic form of Trypanosoma cruzi, later they were noted to be a different protozoan and named Pneumocystis carinii.

Pneumocystis was widely thought to be a protozoan based on several criteria:

  1. strong similarities in microbe morphology and host pathology,
  2. absence of some phenotypic features typical of fungi
  3. presence of morphologic features typical of protozoa
  4. ineffectiveness of antifungal drugs,
  5. effectiveness of drugs generally used to treat protozoan infections.

The protozoan hypothesis remained predominant until 1988, when DNA analysis demonstrated that Pneumocystis is a fungus, albeit an odd one. It was not until 1999 that the first valid new binomial appeared.

The organism that causes human PCP is now named Pneumocystis jiroveci Frenkel 1999 (pronounced “yee row vet zee”), in honor of the Czech parasitologist Otto Jirovec, who is credited with describing the microbe in humans.

But don’t worry you can still say PCP because it can be read “Pneumocystis pneumonia”. [Stringer JR. Emerg Infect Dis. 2002;8:891–896. PMC2732539]

Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) pneumonia

Question 3

What virus is shaped like a bullet?

Reveal the funtabulous answer


Slightly ironic given that if you express the clinical disease it is a death sentence.

Question 4

Which American band ‘wanted to be sedated’ and in the process created what Rolling Stone magazine considers to be the 144th greatest song of all time?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

The Ramones

As Leon said in Tox Tunes #35: “Not bad for a group that knew only 3 or 4 chords and whose entire play list contains few works much longer than 2 minutes.”

Don’t believe it was the 144th greatest song of all time? Here’s the proof.

Question 5

For what could you use a Queen square, Troemner or a Taylor ?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Testing the reflexes; they are all tendon hammers.

The story of the tendon hammer began in 1875 when Wilhelm Heinrich Erb (1840-1921) and Carl Friedrich Otto Westphal (1833–1890) simultaneously described the muscle stretch reflexes.

Westphal considered the reflex as a local muscle phenomenon, whereas Erb viewed it more clearly as a true reflex arc and realised its utility in diagnosing certain disease states.

Erb and Westphal used fingers and chest percussion hammers to elicit these phenomena. Because of inadequacies this method a variety of hammers were developed specifically for this purpose.

In 1888, John Madison Taylor (1855-1931), working for Silas Weir Mitchell (1829-1914) at the Philadelphia Orthopedic Hospital, designed the first such “reflex hammer.” Taylor’s hammer had a triangular rubber head and a short, flattened metal handle. Of course other designs had to be made for the discerning physician.

  • Lanska DJ. [History of the reflex hammer] Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 1998;10;118(30):4666-8 PMID 9914749

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Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five

BA MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM. Emergency physician, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.  Passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

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