News in Harmful Bacteria
S. pyogenes is the cause of many important human diseases, ranging from mild superficial skin infections to life-threatening systemic diseases. Infections due to certain strains of S. pyogenes can be associated with the release of bacterial toxins. Since 1978, enteropathogenic E. coli have come to be appreciated anew as a separate class of diarrheagenic E. coli that cause diarrhea by distinct pathogenic mechanisms. The relative importance of enteropathogenic E. coli as a cause of sporadic diarrhea in both industrialized and developing countries needs to be reassessed.
Some strains of V. cholerae cause the disease cholera. CTXφ (also called CTXphi) is a filamentous phage that contains the genes for cholera toxin. Infectious CTXφ particles are produced when V. cholerae infects humans. Phage particles are secreted from bacterial cells without lysis. When CTXφ infects V. cholerae cells, it integrates into specific sites on either chromosome. Gene transfer is fairly common amongst bacteria and recombination of different V. cholerae genes can lead to new virulent strains.
Typhoid fever occurs when Salmonella bacteria enter the lymphatic system and cause a systemic form of salmonellosis. Endotoxins first act on the vascular and nervous apparatus, resulting in increased permeability and decreased tone of the vessels, upset thermal regulation, vomiting and diarrhea. In severe forms of the disease, enough liquid and electrolytes are lost to upset the water-salt metabolism, decrease the circulating blood volume and arterial pressure, and cause hypovolemic shock. Septic shock may also develop. Shock of mixed character (with signs of both hypovolemic and septic shock) are more common in severe salmonellosis. Oliguria and azotemia develop in severe cases as a result of renal involvement due to hypoxia and toxemia.
An estimated 700 million infections occur worldwide each year. While the overall mortality rate for these infections is 0.1%, over 650,000 of the cases are severe and invasive, and have a mortality rate of 25%.
Diarrhea is a leading killer of children, accounting for 9 per cent of all deaths among children under age 5 worldwide. In 2013, this translated into 1,600 young children dying each day, or about 580,000 children a year. Most deaths from diarrhea occur among children less than 2 years of age living in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
Despite this heavy toll, progress is being made. From 2000 to 2013, the total annual number of deaths from diarrhea among children under 5 decreased by more than 50 per cent – from over 1.2 million to fewer than 0.6 million. Many more children could be saved through the widespread use of a simple solution of oral rehydration salts (ORS) and zinc supplementation.
Since 2004, UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) have recommended treating childhood diarrhea by replacing fluids through oral rehydration therapy. Along with continued feeding, oral rehydration salts (ORS) and zinc supplements are the recommended methods for treating diarrhea and these could be saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of children each year if they were available to all. These interventions have proved cost-effective, affordable and relatively straightforward to implement. However, worldwide, just about 40 per cent of children under age 5 with diarrhea receive the recommended treatment of oral rehydration therapy and continued feeding. Coverage of this treatment package is lowest in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia (36 per cent and 38 per cent, respectively), the regions with the most deaths from diarrhea.
Cholera remains a global threat and is one of the key indicators of social development. While the disease no longer poses a threat to countries with minimum standards of hygiene, it remains a challenge to countries where access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation cannot be guaranteed. Almost every developing country faces cholera outbreaks or the threat of a cholera epidemic.
Dehydration, also known as hypohydration, is not enough body water, with an accompanying disruption of metabolic processes. The term dehydration may be used loosely to refer to any condition where fluid volume is reduced; most commonly, it refers to hypernatremia (loss of free water and the attendant excess concentration of salt), but is also used to refer to hypovolemia (loss of blood volume, particularly plasma). This occurs mostly in children and can be categorized under pediatric bacteriology.
Dehydration occurs when water loss exceeds water intake, usually due to exercise or disease. Most people can tolerate a three to four percent decrease in body water without difficulty. A five to eight percent decrease can cause fatigue and dizziness. Over ten percent can cause physical and mental deterioration, accompanied by severe thirst. A decrease more than fifteen to twenty-five percent of the body water is invariably fatal. Mild dehydration is characterized by thirst and general discomfort and usually resolved with oral rehydration.
In the end of the 1980´s and early 1990´s approximately 5000 people (incidence 56/100,000) were reported with salmonella infection. The number of reported cases declined in the mid 2000´s to 3500 but has in recent years increased slightly. In 2013, 2838 cases were reported. The majority (approximately 80-85%) of the reported cases were infected abroad. The low number of cases infected domestically, out of the total number of reported cases, reflects the favourable salmonella situation of the Swedish food-producing animals. In recent years, it has become more common for different types of vegetables to be associated with salmonella outbreaks. These types of products often come from countries other than Sweden, and are often eaten without being heat-treated first.
- Streptococcus Pyogenes - Toxic shock syndrome and Septicemia
- Escherichia Coli - Diarrhea
- Vibrio Cholerae - Cholera
- Enteritis Salmonella - Circulatory shock and Dehydration
- Salmonella Typhi - Typhoid Fever
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