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Thread: Infectious Disease

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    Arrow Infectious Disease

    Infectious Disease

    We live in a world of bacteria and viruses.

    • So why is it sometimes we get sick?
    • We know three things are necessary for an infectious disease to develop.
      ---A susceptible host.
      ---The agent of the disease.
      ---Proper environmental factors.
    • So, if the bugs are on our skin, in our GI tracts and up our noses, what constitutes an infection?
    • A reasonable working definition might be this:
    • An infection results when a microbial agent causes disease or injury in the course of its growth, cellular metabolism or reproduction .
  2. The three elements needed for an infection.

    • Here are a few host factors. ---Immune susceptibility.
      ---Nutritional status.
      ---Breaks in skin or mucosa.
      ---Being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    • Here are a few things the bugs bring to the scene.
      ---Adhesive proteins
      ---Antibiotic resistance
  3. Environmental factors.
    ---Reservoir and/or vector, if needed.
    ---People in close proximity.
    ---The proverbial 'dirty toilet seat.'
    ---Inappropriate use of antibiotics.


Case Report:

Jennifer is a three year-old little girl who presents with:

So what do you think Doc?


Infectious Disease


[HIDE]Jennifer has a viral gastroenteritis

• Viral gastroenteritis is a major cause of illness in infants and young children.
o Diarrhea can result in severe dehydration
o Metabolic acidosis
o Hemoconcentration and even risk of thrombosis (stroke, believe it or not).
• Rotavirus is probably the most common agent. Others include:
o Norwalk viruses
o Coronaviruses
o Adenoviruses

• Viral diarrhea results from
o Death of mature epithelial cells, which causes
 Decreased absorption of sodium and water
 Reduced ability to absorb carbohydrates

• Bacterial diarrhea is different:
o Often toxin mediated
o Toxins actually cause active secretion of water and electrolytes.
• Mother's milk contains antibodies; don't see the disease until child is weaned.
o By the age of 4 or 5 most children have developed their own antibodies.

Diagnosis and treatment of viral gastroenteritis
• Antigen detection
• Immunoassay (ELISA) techniques.
o Viral cultures are not practical.
o Look for viral antigens in stool.
o Commercial kits available for
 rotavirus
 adenovirus
o Immunoassay (ELISA) techniques require a large number of viral particles.
• Immune electron microscopy improves sensitivity.
o Expensive and not readily available.
o Uses antibodies to clump viral particles
• Serological conversion (looking for antibodies) is of limited value.
o Infection is resolved by the time antibodies appear in the patient.
• Treatment and prevention:
o Strictly observe universal precautions to prevent spread.
o Fluid and electrolyte management; prevent or correct serious dehydration.
o Perhaps a vaccine in the future, but none right now.

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Last edited by trimurtulu; 03-08-2009 at 08:00 AM.
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