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26.08.2015, admin
Discuss the advances in science and public health that have reduced the risk of death from infectious diseases.
During the 1700s, scientists spied microorganisms under the microscope but didn’t link them to disease. In the grand scheme of infectious disease control, the innovations that saved the most lives were the introduction of sewers, flush toilets, and water sanitation.
In an infectionThe process by which microorganisms invade bodily tissues to reproduce, multiply, and cause disease., an organism has invaded to reproduce, multiply, and cause disease.
Strictly speaking, microorganismsMicroscopic organisms such as a bacterium, virus, or protozoa. The narrated images depict the ways bacteria infect us, as well as our immune system’s response to these microbes. VirusesTiny microbes that cannot reproduce outside a host cell; consist of DNA or RNA within a protein capsule. Fungi reproduce by budding or by making spores that are tiny enough to be inhaled into the lungs, where they may cause pneumonia. More complicated organisms called ectoparasitesParasitic organisms such as a flea or tick that lives on its host surface.
PrionsMicroscopic, abnormally folded proteins thought to cause nerve-degenerating diseases such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (“mad cow disease”).
Sometimes communicable diseases become epidemicThe widespread occurrence of a condition such as an infectious disease., meaning the infection spreads rapidly to affect many people.
The microbe also requires a reservoir, an environment—human, other animal, soil, water, food—in which it can survive. The microbe has a route of transmission, a means of migrating from its reservoir to its host. Severe infections can produce persistent symptoms or signs, such as permanent hearing loss after meningitis or a damaged heart valve after strep throat.
Multiple advances—improved sanitation, better living conditions, heightened hospital hygiene standards, immunization programs, antimicrobial drugs—dramatically reduced the toll of microbial pathogens on us humans. Infectious agents include bacteria, viruses, protozoa, fungi, helminths, ectoparasites, and prions. In order for an infection to occur, the host has to be vulnerable, and the microbe must be sufficiently virulent and have a means of entering and exiting the host. Infections follow a series of stages from the incubation period through the recovery from the illness.
For instance, in the mid-1800s in America, infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, infectious diarrhea, and pneumonia most commonly caused death, and life expectancy was about 44 years.Haines M.
In 1854, London physician John Snow traced the source of a cholera outbreak to a contaminated water pump. Some bacteria have become resistant to multiple antibiotics, and new infectious agents continually emerge, their dissemination hastened by globe-trotting travelers.
A similar term is infestationThe process by which a parasitic organism invades its host to live off its energy resources., which means the organism has taken up residence within you to live off your energy resources.
Relatively few drugs have been developed to interfere with various stages of the viral infection cycle.
The term epidemic more broadly refers to any abnormal condition with a widespread distribution. Sometimes the route occurs by direct horizontal transmission (spread from one person to the next). A break in the skin allows Staphylococcus aureus, which can be carried on the skin, to cause an infection.

Microbes such as respiratory viruses may be excreted from sputum (mucus brought up from the lungs) and nasal phlegm. For instance, sleeping under a mosquito net and wearing insect repellent blocks malaria transmission. The length of these stages of infection and the severity of symptoms depend on things such as the virulenceThe degree to which a microorganism is capable of causing disease; the intensity and speed at which a microbial pathogen sickens its host. Soon thereafter, French scientist Louis Pasteur determined that microscopic organisms caused infectious illnesses. Seven classes of organisms cause infection or infestation: bacteria, viruses, protozoa, fungi, helminths, ectoparasites, and prions.
Rubbing alcohol (the active ingredient in most hand sanitizers) inactivates some but not all viruses.Steinmann J, Becker B, Bischoff B, et al. The yeast Candida, a normal resident in the mouth, intestine, and vagina, can grow out of control in people who take antibiotics or have immunodeficiencies.
For instance, cardiovascular disease and diabetes have swelled to epidemic proportions in the United States. Infants and elderly people are vulnerable because, in the first case, the immune system is immature and, in the second, it’s weaker.
He introduced pasteurization, a process of gently heating foods and beverages to kill microbes. Unlike our cells, bacteria lack a nucleus and other organelles (structures within the cell that perform specific functions). They operate by docking their protein coats onto a cell and injecting their genetic material inside. Virucidal activity of 2 alcohol-based formulations proposed as hand rubs by the World Health Organization.
Synthetic interferons can be injected to augment the body’s immune response to viral infections such as hepatitis B and C, though they cause flu-like side effects.
We acquire them by ingesting, inhaling, or contacting their eggs, which can contaminate food, water, air, feces, and inanimate objects. Immunodeficiency diseases, cancer treatment, and some chronic conditions also put people at particular risk.
Still others depend on direct contact with infected skin or mucous membranes (such as most sexually transmitted agents).
He also worked to develop vaccines and encourage surgeons to wash their hands and equipment. Furthermore, microbiologists also study viruses and prions—which are not living cells—and helminths and ectoparasites, which are visible without the aid of a microscope. An experimental approach is to synthesize antibodies against the virus and give these by injection. We also eat mushrooms, use yeasts to culture foods (bread, coleslaw, alcoholic beverages), and derive from them drugs such as the antibiotic penicillin.
Bedbugs are small insects whose nighttime feasts on the blood of slumbering humans can cause skin rashes and allergic symptoms. Prions are thought to cause conditions of severe brain degeneration such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or “mad cow disease”) and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. You push the shopping cart recently used by someone with the common cold, then inoculate yourself with viruses by touching the inside of your nose.
Sometimes pathogens penetrate deeper, entering the bloodstream to cause systemic (widespread) infection. Washing your hands reduces the risk that you’ll transfer pathogens to your food, nostrils, or any open wounds.

You might attribute the symptoms to not getting enough sleep, hitting the books too hard, or exercising too vigorously the day before. Once released from the host cell, these newly minted viruses infect other cells, replicate, and infect other cells, unless and until the immune system stops the chain reaction. Depending on the type of helminth, symptoms and signs can be absent or include malaise, decreased appetite, weight loss, abdominal discomfort, nausea, diarrhea, anemia, and anal itching.
Encephalopathy means brain disease, and spongiform describes the sponge-like holes in the brain. The term noncommunicable illness refers to a condition that lacks an infectious cause, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. Or an animal or insect vector brings you the microbe, as happens when a tick carrying the Lyme disease bacterium bites you. Each year, some 12 million people—many of them children in developing countries—die of infectious illnesses that are largely preventable and treatable.World Health Organization. Helminth infestations stunt the growth of millions of children in the developing world.Crompton DWT, Montresor A, Nesheim MC, Savioli L, eds.
Prions are transmitted through contaminated products derived from brain, blood, and other tissues. Other pathogens can be airborne (influenza viruses), waterborne (cholera bacteria), or food borne (salmonella bacteria). During that time, microbial and immune system warfare damages tissue and releases inflammatory cytokines into the circulation. Hippocrates, a forward-thinking ancient Greek physician, blamed some sort of environmental factor. Tick bites can give us the bacterial illnesses Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease. New research suggests the prion disease scrapie (which normally affects sheep) may be transmitted to mice via airborne exposure.Haybaeck J, Heikenwalder M, Klevenz B, et al. Vertical transmission can occur between a pregnant woman and her developing fetus and between a mother and her breast-feeding baby.
Finally, the illness peaks, the immune system triumphs, and you enter what’s called the period of decline, which means the illness is declining, not your health.
For instance, mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus, which can infect the nervous system, arrived in North America in 1999 and spread quickly.Harrigan RJ, Thomassen HA, Buermann W, Cummings RF, Kahn ME, Smith TB. In the meantime, infectious diseases were blamed on witches, vapors, and other mystical agents. Infections such as giardiasis (a diarrheal illness caused by Giardia lamblia) can be treated with drugs.
Compared to influenza and pneumonia, which have fallen to the number eight cause of death, heart disease kills nearly 12 times more people.Leading causes of death.
Despite these ever-present threats, you have many options decreasing your risk of infectious disease.
Several species of Plasmodium cause it, and some have developed resistance to multiple drugs.

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