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# Microbiologist: A lethal strain of salmonella recently showed up in a

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Re: Microbiologist: A lethal strain of salmonella recently showed up in a [#permalink]
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AbdurRakib wrote:
Microbiologist: A lethal strain of salmonella recently showed up in a European country, causing an outbreak of illness that killed two people and infected twenty-seven others. Investigators blame the severity of the outbreak on the overuse of antibiotics, since the salmonella bacteria tested were shown to be drug-resistant. But this is unlikely because patients in the country where the outbreak occurred cannot obtain antibiotics to treat illness without a prescription, and the country’s doctors prescribe antibiotics less readily than do doctors in any other European country.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the microbiologist’s reasoning?

A. Physicians in the country where the outbreak occurred have become hesitant to prescribe antibiotics since they are frequently in short supply.
B. People in the country where the outbreak occurred often consume foods produced from animals that eat antibiotics-laden livestock feed.
C. Use of antibiotics in two countries that neighbor the country where the outbreak occurred has risen over the past decade.
D. Drug-resistant strains of salmonella have not been found in countries in which antibiotics are not generally available.
E. Salmonella has been shown to spread easily along the distribution chains of certain vegetables, such as raw tomatoes.

OG Verbal 2017 New Question(Book Question: 172)

Microbiologist says that antibiotics is not the reason for Salmonella infection. Our job is to find that Antibiotics are the reason.

A. Physicians in the country where the outbreak occurred have become hesitant to prescribe antibiotics since they are frequently in short supply. We want to know the status of Antibiotics use before infection took place.

B. People in the country where the outbreak occurred often consume foods produced from animals that eat antibiotics-laden livestock feed. Correct choice. Animals are given antibiotics, and since these animals are eaten by people in the country, people are indirectly consuming antibiotics.

C. Use of antibiotics in two countries that neighbor the country where the outbreak occurred has risen over the past decade. We are not concerned about antibiotics use in neighboring countries.

D. Drug-resistant strains of salmonella have not been found in countries in which antibiotics are not generally available. We want to know if infection happened because of antibiotic resistance.

E. Salmonella has been shown to spread easily along the distribution chains of certain vegetables, such as raw tomatoes. We want to know if infection happened because of antibiotic resistance.
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Re: Microbiologist: A lethal strain of salmonella recently [#permalink]
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Its always better to simplify what the argument is trying to say before attempting the question -

No antibiotics without prescription + doctors prescribe antibiotics less readily --> salmonella outbreak not caused by overuse of antibiotics.

A - We are interested in what caused the salmonella outbreak. What happened after the outbreak is not relevant to the argument. Also, if antibiotics are in short supply, this strengthens the argument that salmonella outbreak was not caused by overuse of antibiotics.
B - Correct answer. This suggests that overuse of antibiotics need not only be caused by prescription medicines but can be caused by something else also. That something else is overuse of antibiotics in feed given to livestock.
C - This option is incorrect because it requires multiple assumptions. For example - do we know that bacteria from the two neighboring countries get introduced into this country? Also, how much was the rise? If the use increased by only 0.1% over the last decade we can safely say that this option does not weaken the conclusion. Additionally, does the rise in usage of antibiotics mean that their usage crossed the "normal usage" threshold?
D - This option at its core states that No antibiotics --> No drug resistant salmonella. Look at what the main argument written above says. This option then basically acts as a strengthener.
E - This option strengthens the argument slightly by suggesting that the disease resistant strains were probably transported from somewhere else. And thus the outbreak was probably not caused by overuse of antibiotics.
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Re: Microbiologist: A lethal strain of salmonella recently showed up in a [#permalink]
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Microbiologist: A lethal strain of salmonella recently showed up in a European country, causing an outbreak of illness that killed two people and infected twenty-seven others. Investigators blame the severity of the outbreak on the overuse of antibiotics, since the salmonella bacteria tested were shown to be drug-resistant. But this is unlikely because patients in the country where the outbreak occurred cannot obtain antibiotics to treat illness without a prescription, and the country’s doctors prescribe antibiotics less readily than do doctors in any other European country.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the microbiologist’s reasoning?

A. Physicians in the country where the outbreak occurred have become hesitant to prescribe antibiotics since they are frequently in short supply.
- OPPOSITE. if physicians hesitate to prescribe antibiotics, then it strengthens the idea antibiotics could not have increased severity of the outbreak

B. People in the country where the outbreak occurred often consume foods produced from animals that eat antibiotics-laden livestock feed.
- Breaks the idea that the outbreak was not strongly influenced by antibiotics. in fact, tells us people found other ways of consuming antibiotics (this way, in what they ate)

C. Use of antibiotics in two countries that neighbor the country where the outbreak occurred has risen over the past decade.
- irrelevant. who cares about other neighboring countries? we don't know how they're related -- they could be totally different

D. Drug-resistant strains of salmonella have not been found in countries in which antibiotics are not generally available.
- irrelevant & extreme language "not generally available". that's not said here, what is said is that doctors prescribe antibiotics less readily than in other countries. this could still be a high #

E. Salmonella has been shown to spread easily along the distribution chains of certain vegetables, such as raw tomatoes.
- irrelevant. who cares if it spreads easily and/or how it spreads?

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Re: Microbiologist: A lethal strain of salmonella recently showed up in a [#permalink]
GMATNinja

hello sir
i was confused between option B and option C ,and i marked option C(the wrong answer)

option B: suggests another source of antibiotics that the patients could have
option C: suggests that use of antibiotics in the neighboring countries has risen over the past decade
is the option wrong because of PAST DECADE?
because from the passage, the patients are unlikely to get the antibiotics without prescription of a physician of the country
so they might get it from neighboring country
what if the option C were "use of antibiotics has risen in the neighboring countries since the outbreak of the disease in country X",would it be correct?
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Re: Microbiologist: A lethal strain of salmonella recently showed up in a [#permalink]
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JAIN09 wrote:
i was confused between option B and option C ,and i marked option C(the wrong answer)

option B: suggests another source of antibiotics that the patients could have
option C: suggests that use of antibiotics in the neighboring countries has risen over the past decade
is the option wrong because of PAST DECADE?
because from the passage, the patients are unlikely to get the antibiotics without prescription of a physician of the country
so they might get it from neighboring country
what if the option C were "use of antibiotics has risen in the neighboring countries since the outbreak of the disease in country X",would it be correct?

Hi JAIN09,

(B) is the best available choice because it presents evidence that people in this country are ingesting antibiotics (in foods produced from animals that eat antibiotics-laden feed). If true, this choice tells us that despite the barrier to consuming antibiotics through prescription, people in this country have been consuming antibiotics through food. This makes it harder for us to accept the microbiologist's argument and easier to accept the investigators' explanation for the severity of this outbreak.

We should eliminate (C) because it does not provide any evidence that people in this country have been consuming antibiotics. Who cares about what's going on with antibiotics in neighboring countries, if we can't prove that those activities have a direct impact on use of antibiotics in the country we're analyzing?

Well, a good global citizen would certainly care, but the GMAT isn't always so kind. Because (C) doesn't provide an explicit connection between antibiotics use in neighboring countries and antibiotics use in the country being discussed by the microbiologist, we must eliminate it.

(B) is still the best choice available.

I hope this helps!
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Re: Microbiologist: A lethal strain of salmonella recently showed up in a [#permalink]
The double negative is slightly confusing.
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Re: Microbiologist: A lethal strain of salmonella recently showed up in a [#permalink]
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shruti.shambhavi wrote:
The double negative is slightly confusing.

Quote:
D. Drug-resistant strains of salmonella have not been found in countries in which antibiotics are not generally available.

(D) simply suggests that drug-resistant strains are only likely to occur in countries in which antibiotics ARE available (and NOT likely to occur in countries in which antibiotics are NOT available).

This would be consistent with the author's argument. The author does not say that antibiotics are NOT available in this country. Instead, the author tells us that this country’s doctors prescribe antibiotics less readily than do doctors in any other European country. So even if (D) is true, we could still find a drug-resistant strain in this country.

The author is trying to say that the severity of the outbreak was likely NOT caused by an overuse of antibiotics. Why not? Because the people cannot get the antibiotics without a prescription and the doctors don't write a lot of prescriptions for the antibiotics. (D) does not tell us anything about consumption of antibiotics in this country and, so, does not weaken this argument.

I hope that helps!
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Re: Microbiologist: A lethal strain of salmonella recently showed up in a [#permalink]
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Although there has already been a lengthy discussion on this question, I thought I would pitch in my thoughts because it took me 3 long mins to solve. I answered the question correctly; however, it took me a while to make the connection. Hopefully this will help someone out!

For me, the main factor that has contributed to my improvement in CR questions has been placing a massive emphasis on recognizing the conclusion and i.e the connection that has been made within the prompt. I find it absolutely necessary to do this prior to reviewing answer choices, as having this knowledge will make the right answer obvious, and prevent any confusion from the wrong choices that are supposed to confuse you. The 'making the connection' in the prompt, for me, is where the heart of CR practice is.

In this question, the main connection for me was simplifying the Microbiologists thought process:
- Investigators blame antibiotics because Salmonella bacteria was drug resistant.
- Microbiologist thinks it's unlikely because people are not often prescribed drugs.
- Microbiologist has drawn a strong relationship between people consuming/ingesting ...
- Instinct: what if they ate something else that ate antibiotics? like beef or chicken that was fed antibiotics?
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Re: Microbiologist: A lethal strain of salmonella recently showed up in a [#permalink]
VeritasKarishma GMATNinja. Why not Option C? As the neighboring country people are using antibiotics where the outbreak happened and due to which the virus became drug resistant and ultimately spread to the people of the country we are discussing about? Even in this option we are weakening the authors argument and saying that it is because of antibiotics. Is it wrong because of the assumption of spread from the other country?

Even in the right answer B, we are assuming that consuming food products from animals that use these antibiotics induces antibiotics into human body right?
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Re: Microbiologist: A lethal strain of salmonella recently showed up in a [#permalink]
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pallavichsk wrote:
VeritasKarishma GMATNinja. Why not Option C? As the neighboring country people are using antibiotics where the outbreak happened and due to which the virus became drug resistant and ultimately spread to the people of the country we are discussing about? Even in this option we are weakening the authors argument and saying that it is because of antibiotics. Is it wrong because of the assumption of spread from the other country?

Even in the right answer B, we are assuming that consuming food products from animals that use these antibiotics induces antibiotics into human body right?

The drug resistant bacteria strain has been found in this country, not in any other country. So we cannot say that it developed somewhere else but came to this country to infect people. I think we are losing our objectivity due to covid
The strain has been found here so it is natural that it became drug resistant due to some issues found here. But here, people are not overusing antibiotics. Because people are using more antibiotics in the neighbouring countries than they were doing previously wouldn't make the bacteria here resistant. Also, it doesn't say that people are overusing antibiotics in neighbouring countries. They are just using more than before.

As for (B), if people are consuming food laden with antibiotics, antibiotics are going into their system. We are making no assumptions there.
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Re: Microbiologist: A lethal strain of salmonella recently showed up in a [#permalink]
Microbiologist: A lethal strain of salmonella recently showed up in a European country, causing an outbreak of illness that killed two people and infected twenty-seven others. Investigators blame the severity of the outbreak on the overuse of antibiotics, since the salmonella bacteria tested were shown to be drug-resistant. But this is unlikely because patients in the country where the outbreak occurred cannot obtain antibiotics to treat illness without a prescription, and the country's doctors prescribe antibiotics less readily than do doctors in any other European country.

P : lethal strain of salmonella showed up
P : Investigators blame overuse of antibiotics
P : patients cannot get antibiotics without a prescription and doctors prescribe antibiotics less readily than other countries.
C : Investigators blame is unacceptable

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the microbiologist's reasoning?

A. Physicians in the country where the outbreak occurred have become hesitant to prescribe antibiotics since they are frequently in short supply.
-> Strengthen. Option A only supports the conclusion by asserting that doctors would have had trouble in prescribing antibiotics.

B. People in the country where the outbreak occurred often consume foods produced from animals that eat antibiotics-laden livestock feed.
-> Correct. Option B implies that use of antiniotics was prevalent in the country not just limited to prescriptions. Therefore, microbiologist's assertion is broken because other factors might caused overuse of antibiotics.

C. Use of antibiotics in two countries that neighbor the country where the outbreak occurred has risen over the past decade.
-> Irrelevant. Option C merely tells us that countries that neighbor have started to use more antibiotics, but does not tells us whether such factor has caused salmonella bacteria in this country to get resistant. While the conclusion is focusing on prescriptions, option C is talking about another option, which might have cause salmonella bacterias to gain resistant.

D. Drug-resistant strains of salmonella have not been found in countries in which antibiotics are not generally available.
-> Irrelevant. Negating option D does not weaken the conclusion. Drug-resistant strains of salmonella are already found in a European country in which antibiotics are genereally available.

E. Salmonella has been shown to spread easily along the distribution chains of certain vegetables, such as raw tomatoes.
-> Irrelevant. This option is providing another explanation for drug-resistant.
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Re: Microbiologist: A lethal strain of salmonella recently showed up in a [#permalink]
CONCLUSION - Severity of outbreak is not led by the overuse of antibiotics

GIVEN THAT -

1) Strain killed 2 and infected 27
2) Patients in the country don't take antibiotics without prescription
3) Doctors in the country are less likely to prescribe the antibiotics than the doctors in any other European country

WEAKNER - What new information would reduce the belief in the conclusion?

A) Physicians are hesitant to prescribe antibiotics - actually strengthens the conclusion
B) CORRECT - Antibiotics are taken by the people through animals which might have led to the outbreak
C) Use of antibiotic in the neighbouring country does not impact the conclusion
D) Presence of salmonella in the countries which are not using antibiotics - not related to the conclusion
E) How salmonella spreads doesn't impact the conclusion
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Re: Microbiologist: A lethal strain of salmonella recently showed up in a [#permalink]
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Anti-biotic injected not themselves but through consumption of food and hence B helps weaken the argument.
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Re: Microbiologist: A lethal strain of salmonella recently showed up in a [#permalink]
OE:
Situation Antibiotic-resistant salmonella caused an outbreak of
illness in a European country where patients need prescriptions to
obtain antibiotics and where doctors dispense such prescriptions less
readily than in other European countries.
Reasoning What evidence would most strongly suggest that
overuse of antibiotics was likely responsible for the outbreak, despite
the cited facts? The microbiologist reasons that because patients
need prescriptions to obtain antibiotics in the country where the
outbreak occurred, and the country’s doctors dispense such
prescriptions less readily than doctors in other European countries
do, antibiotics are probably not being overused in the country—so
antibiotic overuse was probably not responsible for the outbreak.
Implicit in the microbiologist’s reasoning is the assumption that
overuse of antibiotics, if it had occurred, could probably have resulted
only from overprescribing of antibiotics by physicians to treat illness
in people in the country in question. Any evidence casting doubt on
this complex assumption would suggest a weakness in the
microbiologist’s reasoning.
A. This strengthens the argument by providing additional evidence that
antibiotics are not being overprescribed in the country.
B. Correct. This weakens the microbiologist’s argument by indicating
that an assumption implicit in the argument may be false: the
salmonella outbreak could easily by explained by overuse of
antibiotics in livestock feed (perhaps imported from other
countries).
C. Even if antibiotic use has risen in the two neighboring countries,
antibiotics still might be underused in both countries.
D. This suggests that antibiotic-resistant salmonella arises only in
countries where antibiotics are used; even if this were true it would
be quite compatible with the microbiologist’s argument and does
not weaken that argument.
E. This describes one mechanism by which salmonella can spread in a
population; it says nothing about whether an outbreak of antibioticresistant
strains of salmonella might have been caused by antibiotic
overuse.
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Re: Microbiologist: A lethal strain of salmonella recently showed up in a [#permalink]
Hey Experts,
Choice D indicates that when cause (Antibiotics) is not present, effect (Salmonella) is absent as well. This strengthens the conviction that AB=>Salmonella and which in turns weakens the conclusion 'this(overuse of AB causing Salmonella) is unlikely'.
What am I missing here?
Thanks!
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Re: Microbiologist: A lethal strain of salmonella recently showed up in a [#permalink]
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vshr wrote:
Hey Experts,
Choice D indicates that when cause (Antibiotics) is not present, effect (Salmonella) is absent as well. This strengthens the conviction that AB=>Salmonella and which in turns weakens the conclusion 'this(overuse of AB causing Salmonella) is unlikely'.
What am I missing here?
Thanks!

Notice that the point of the argument is not that use of antibiotics is not connected to development of drug-resistant strains of salmonella.

Rather, the point of the argument is that OVERUSE of antibiotics is not to blame for this particular outbreak in this particular country.

That conclusion is supported by the facts that patients in the country where the outbreak occurred cannot obtain antibiotics to treat illness without a prescription and that the country’s doctors prescribe antibiotics less readily than do doctors in any other European country. After all, those facts are reasons to believe that antibiotics have not been overused in the country.

So, the argument still works even if (D) is true, because it can be the case that overuse of antibiotics is not the cause of the outbreak even if, as (D) indicates, use of antibiotics is connected to development of drug-resistant strains.
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Re: Microbiologist: A lethal strain of salmonella recently showed up in a [#permalink]
Can you elborate more on the last sentence? Why do you use the word 'can' that it can be the case that overuse is not the cause for outbreak? In which case can it not be the case? Also pls clarify in general why can that be a case MartyTargetTestPrep

MartyTargetTestPrep wrote:
vshr wrote:
Hey Experts,
Choice D indicates that when cause (Antibiotics) is not present, effect (Salmonella) is absent as well. This strengthens the conviction that AB=>Salmonella and which in turns weakens the conclusion 'this(overuse of AB causing Salmonella) is unlikely'.
What am I missing here?
Thanks!

Notice that the point of the argument is not that use of antibiotics is not connected to development of drug-resistant strains of salmonella.

Rather, the point of the argument is that OVERUSE of antibiotics is not to blame for this particular outbreak in this particular country.

That conclusion is supported by the facts that patients in the country where the outbreak occurred cannot obtain antibiotics to treat illness without a prescription and that the country’s doctors prescribe antibiotics less readily than do doctors in any other European country. After all, those facts are reasons to believe that antibiotics have not been overused in the country.

So, the argument still works even if (D) is true, because it can be the case that overuse of antibiotics is not the cause of the outbreak even if, as (D) indicates, use of antibiotics is connected to development of drug-resistant strains.
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