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26.E: Nervous System Infections (Exercises)


26.1: Anatomy of the Nervous System

Multiple Choice

What is the outermost membrane surrounding the brain called?

A. pia mater
B. arachnoid mater
C. dura mater
D. alma mater


What term refers to an inflammation of brain tissues?

A. encephalitis
B. meningitis
C. sinusitis
D. meningoencephalitis


Nerve cells form long projections called ________.

A. soma
B. axons
C. dendrites
D. synapses


Chemicals called ________ are stored in neurons and released when the cell is stimulated by a signal.

A. toxins
B. cytokines
C. chemokines
D. neurotransmitters


The central nervous system is made up of

A. sensory organs and muscles.
B. the brain and muscles.
C. the sensory organs and spinal cord.
D. the brain and spinal column.



Match each strategy for microbial invasion of the CNS with its description.

___intercellular entry A. pathogen gains entry by infecting peripheral white blood cells
___transcellular entry B. pathogen bypasses the blood-brain barrier by travel along the olfactory or trigeminal cranial nerves
___leukocyte-facilitated entry C. pathogen passes through the cells of the blood-brain barrier
___nonhematogenous entry D. pathogen passes between the cells of the blood-brain barrier

D, C, A, B

Fill in the Blank

The cell body of a neuron is called the ________.


A signal is transmitted down the ________ of a nerve cell.


The ________ is filled with cerebrospinal fluid.

subarachnoid space

The ________ ________ prevents access of microbes in the blood from gaining access to the central nervous system.

blood-brain barrier

The ________ are a set of membranes that cover and protect the brain.


Short Answer

Briefly describe the defenses of the brain against trauma and infection.

Describe how the blood-brain barrier is formed.

Identify the type of cell shown, as well as the following structures: axon, dendrite, myelin sheath, soma, and synapse.

Critical Thinking

What important function does the blood-brain barrier serve? How might this barrier be problematic at times?

26.2: Bacterial Diseases of the Nervous System

Multiple Choice

Which of the following organisms causes epidemic meningitis cases at college campuses?

A. Haemophilus influenzae type b
B. Neisseria meningitidis
C. Streptococcus pneumoniae
D. Listeria monocytogenes


Which of the following is the most common cause of neonatal meningitis?

A. Haemophilus influenzae b
B. Streptococcus agalactiae
C. Neisseria meningitidis
D. Streptococcus pneumoniae


What sign/symptom would NOT be associated with infant botulism?

A. difficulty suckling
B. limp body
C. stiff neck
D. weak cry


Which of the following can NOT be prevented with a vaccine?

A. tetanus
B. pneumococcal meningitis
C. meningococcal meningitis
D. listeriosis


How is leprosy primarily transmitted from person to person?

A. contaminated toilet seats
B. shaking hands
C. blowing nose
D. sexual intercourse


Fill in the Blank

The form of meningitis that can cause epidemics is caused by the pathogen ________.

Neisseria meningitidis

The symptoms of tetanus are caused by the neurotoxin ________.


________ is another name for leprosy.

Hansen’s disease

Botulism prevents the release of the neurotransmitter ________.


________ is a neurological disease that can be prevented with the DTaP vaccine.


Tetanus patients exhibit ________ when muscle spasms causes them to arch their backs.


Short Answer

A physician suspects the lesion and pustule pictured here are indicative of tuberculoid leprosy. If the diagnosis is correct, what microorganism would be found in a skin biopsy?

(credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Critical Thinking

Explain how tetanospasmin functions to cause disease.

The most common causes of bacterial meningitis can be the result of infection by three very different bacteria. Which bacteria are they and how are these microbes similar to each other?

Explain how infant botulism is different than foodborne botulism.

26.3: Acellular Pathogenic Diseases of the Nervous System

Multiple Choice

Which of these diseases can be prevented with a vaccine for humans?

A. eastern equine encephalitis
B. western equine encephalitis
C. West Nile encephalitis
D. Japanese encephalitis


Which of these diseases does NOT require the introduction of foreign nucleic acid?

A. kuru
B. polio
C. rabies
D. St. Louis encephalitis


Which of these is true of the Sabin but NOT the Salk polio vaccine?

A. requires four injections
B. currently administered in the United States
C. mimics the normal route of infection
D. is an inactivated vaccine


Which of the following animals is NOT a typical reservoir for the spread of rabies?

A. dog
B. bat
C. skunk
D. chicken


Fill in the Blank

The rogue form of the prion protein is called ________.


________ are the most common reservoir for the rabies virus worldwide.


________ was the scientist who developed the inactivated polio vaccine.

Jonas Salk

________ is a prion disease of deer and elk.

Chronic wasting disease

The rogue form of prion protein exists primarily in the ________ conformation.

beta sheet

Short Answer

Explain how a person could contract variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease by consuming products from a cow with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease).

Critical Thinking

If the Sabin vaccine is being used to eliminate polio worldwide, explain why a country with a near zero infection rate would opt to use the Salk vaccine but not the Sabin vaccine?

26.4: Neuromycoses and Parasitic Diseases of the Nervous System

Multiple Choice

Which of these diseases results in meningitis caused by an encapsulated yeast?

A. cryptococcosis
B. histoplasmosis
C. candidiasis
D. coccidiomycosis


What kind of stain is most commonly used to visualize the capsule of cryptococcus?

A. Gram stain
B. simple stain
C. negative stain
D. fluorescent stain


Which of the following is the causative agent of East African trypanosomiasis?

A. Trypanosoma cruzi
B. Trypanosoma vivax
C. Trypanosoma brucei rhodanese
D. Trypanosoma brucei gambiense


Which of the following is the causative agent of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis?

A. Naegleria fowleri
B. Entameba histolyticum
C. Amoeba proteus
D. Acanthamoeba polyphaga


What is the biological vector for African sleeping sickness?

A. mosquito
B. tsetse fly
C. deer tick
D. sand fly


How do humans usually contract neurocysticercosis?

A. the bite of an infected arthropod
B. exposure to contaminated cat feces
C. swimming in contaminated water
D. ingestion of undercooked pork


Which of these is the most important cause of adult onset epilepsy?

A. neurocysticercosis
B. neurotoxoplasmosis
C. primary amoebic meningoencephalitis
D. African trypanosomiasis


Fill in the Blank

The ________ is the main virulence factor of Cryptococcus neoformans.


The drug of choice for fungal infections of the nervous system is ________.

Amphotericin B

The larval forms of a tapeworm are known as ________.


________ sign appears as swollen lymph nodes at the back of the neck in early African trypanosomiasis.


________ African trypanosomiasis causes a chronic form of sleeping sickness.


The definitive host for Toxoplasma gondii is ________.


Trypanosomes can evade the immune response through ________ variation.


Short Answer

Why do nervous system infections by fungi require such long treatment times?

Briefly describe how humans are infected by Naegleria fowleri.

Briefly describe how humans can develop neurocysticercosis.

Critical Thinking

The graph shown tracks the body temperature of a patient infected with Trypanosoma brucei. How would you describe this pattern, and why does it occur?

(credit: modification of work by Wellcome Images)

Fungal meningoencephalitis is often the ultimate cause of death for AIDS patients. What factors make these infections more problematic than those of bacterial origin?

Compare East African trypanosomiasis with West African trypanosomiasis.