Bacterial Disease In Trinidad And Tobago Biology Essay

Disease - is any deviation from or interruption of the normal structure or function of any part, organ or system of the body that is manifested by a characteristic set of signs and symptoms.

Bacteria - a member of a large group of unicellular microorganisms which have cell walls but lack organelles and an organized nucleus, including some which can cause disease. Bacteria are widely distributed in soil, water, and air, and on or in the tissues of plants and animals.

Bacterial diseases include any type of illness or disease caused by bacteria, a type of microbe. Microbes are tiny organisms that cannot be seen without a microscope and include viruses, fungi, and some parasites as well as bacteria. The vast majority of bacteria do not cause disease, and many bacteria are actually helpful and even necessary to good health. Millions of bacteria normally live on the skin and in the intestines and can also be found on the genitalia. Bacterial diseases result when the harmful bacteria get into an area of the body that is normally sterile, such as the bladder, or when they crowd out the helpful bacteria in places such as the intestines.

Bacterial Disease in Trinidad and Tobago

Campylobacteriosis – is an infection whereby several species of the gram-negative bacilli Campylobacter can infect the digestive tract and rarely other organs. It normally inhibits the digestive tract of many domestic animals and fowls. Water may become contaminated from the feces of infected animals. The most common form of Campylobacter infection is gastroenteritis which may be acquired by drinking contaminated water, eating undercooked poultry or meat or having contact with infected animals.

Signs & Symptoms: diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramps, fever, painful, red and swollen joint, enlargement of the liver and spleen.

Cholera – a serious infection of the intestine caused by the gram-negative bacterium Vibrio cholera that produces severe diarrhea. Vibro cholera normally lives in aquatic environments, attached to particular types of algae and plankton. People acquire the infection by ingesting water, seafood or other foods contaminated with the bacteria. Once infected, people return the bacteria into the environment in their stool allowing explosive spread of the infection.

Signs & Symptoms: some infected people experience no symptoms, diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, muscle cramps, weakness, minimal urine production, sunken eyes and wrinkled skin on the fingers.

Diphtheria – is a contagious, sometimes fatal, infection of the upper respiratory tract caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheria. The bacteria are usually spread in droplets of moisture coughed into the air. Usually the bacteria multiply on or near the surface of the mucous membrane of the mouth or throat, where they cause inflammation. Some types of Corynebacterium diphtheria release a protein toxin, which can cause damage to the heart, nerves, kidneys and brain.

Signs & Symptoms: sore throat, malaise, fever, rapid heart rate, nausea, vomiting, chills, headaches, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, swollen throat and difficulty breathing.

Gonorrhoea – is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoea that affects the inner lining of the urethra, cervix, rectum and throat or the membranes of the eyes. Gonorrhoea usually causes problems only at the site of infection, although the disease can spread through the bloodstream to other parts of the body, especially the skin and joints.

Signs & Symptoms: men – mild discomfort in the urethra, mild to severe pain during urination, discharge of pus through the penis, frequent and urgent need to urinate and red and swollen penile opening. Women – frequent need to urinate, pain upon urination, vaginal discharge, fever, tenderness or severe deep pelvic pain especially during intercourse.

Leprosy – also called Hansen’s disease is a chronic infection caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae that results in damage primarily to the peripheral nerves (the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord), skin, testes, eyes and mucous membrane of the nose. Although leprosy is not highly contagious, does not cause death and can be effectively treated with antibiotics, the disease still causes widespread anxiety. People with this disease often suffer from psychological and social problems. It is not clear how it is spread, however, one way it is likely passed from person to person is through droplets expelled from the nose and mouth of an infected person and breathed in or touched by an uninfected person.

Signs & Symptoms: leprosy mainly affects the skin and peripheral nerves. The skin develops characteristic rashes and bumps. Infection of the nerves makes the skin numb or the muscles weak in areas controlled by the nerves.

Leptospirosis – is a potentially serious illness caused by species of the spirochete Leptospira. This disease occurs in many wild and domestic animals. Some animals acts as carriers and pass the bacteria in their urine. People acquire these infections through contact with infected animals, their urine, or soil and water contaminated by infected urine

Signs & Symptoms: Normal starts 2 to 20 days after infection. Fever, headache, sever muscle aches, chills, red eyes, nausea and vomiting, bloody cough, palpitations and low blood pressure.

Meningitis (bacterial) – is an infection of the layers of tissues covering the brain and spinal cord (meninges). Meningitis can occur at any age. Meningitis in newborns is typically caused by bacteria acquired from the birth canal. These bacteria are group B streptococci, Escherichia coli and Listeria monocytogens. Older children usually develop infection from contact with respirator secretions from infected people. The bacteria that affect older children are Streptococcus pneumonia and Neisseria meningitides.

Signs & Symptoms: older children and adolescents – fever, headache, confusion, stiff neck. Newborns and infants – fever, vomiting, skin rash, sometimes seizures, stops feeding, fussy and irritable,

Pertussis – also called whooping cough is a highly contagious infection caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis, which results in fits of coughing that usually end in a prolonged, high-pitched, deeply indrawn breath (the whoop). An infected person spreads the pertussis organism into the air in droplets of moisture produced by coughing. Anyone nearby may inhale these droplets and become infected. It is usually not contagious after the third week of the infection.

Signs & Symptoms: severe coughing fits, sneezing, runny nose, malaise, vomiting may occur as well as choking spells and apnea.

Plague – is a severe infection caused by the gram-negative bacterium Yersinia pestis. This bacterium primarily infects wild rodents (rats, mice, squirrels and prairie dogs). The bacteria that causes plague are usually transmitted from infected animals to people by flees. Coughing or sneezing which disperses the bacteria in droplets spreads the infection from one person to another. Types of plague are: bubonic, pneumonic, septicemic and pestis minor)

Signs & Symptoms: chills, fever, rapid and weak heartbeat, decreased blood pressure, swollen lymph nodes, restlessness, confusion, severe headache and coughing.

Pneumonia – is an infection of the small air sacs of the lungs (alveoli) and tissues around them. Often, pneumonia is the final illness in people who have other serious, chronic diseases. It is the most fatal infection acquired in hospitals. Pneumonia may develop in people living in the community, in the hospital or some other institutional setting such as nursing homes. Community-acquired pneumonia –Streptococcus pneumonia, hospital-acquired pneumonia – Staphylococcus aureus or gram-negative bacterium,

Signs & Symptoms: a cough that produces sputum, chest pains, chills, fever, SOB, abnormal lung songs.

Salmonellosis – is an infection with any of several species of the gram-negative bacilli Salmonella results in gastroenteritis and sometimes local tissue infection. Salmonella infects the digestive tract of many domestic and wild animals, birds and reptiles. Contaminated food – particularly poultry, eggs, egg products and raw milk are common sources of salmonella. Some people become carriers and continue to pass the bacteria on in their stools well after symptoms are gone.

Signs & Symptoms: nausea, cramping abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever and sometimes vomiting

Shigellosis – is an infection with species of the gram-negative bacillus Shigella, which results in dysentery that is characterized by frequent watery stool, often with mucus and blood, pain, fever and dehydration. The bacteria appear in the stool of infected people and are usually spread by person-to-person contact. Sometimes contaminated food serves as a common source of infection. High-risk sites are daycare centers and long-term care facilities.

Signs & Symptoms: abdominal pain, watery diarrhea, fever, sometimes vomiting, after some days pain on passing stool with blood and mucus, rapid increase of bowel movement, weight loss, dehydration, seizures may occur in children.

Syphilis – is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacterium Treponema palladium. Syphilis is highly contagious during the primary and secondary stages: a single sexual encounter with a person who has syphilis results in infection about one third of the time. The bacterium enters the body through mucous membranes, such as those in the vagina or mouth, or through the skin. Within hours the bacterium reaches nearby lymph nodes, then spread throughout the body by way of the bloodstream. Stages of syphilis are primary, secondary, latent and tertiary.

Signs & Symptoms: Primary stage – painless sore or ulcer appears on the vagina, vulva, penis, anus, rectum, lips, tongue, throat, cervix, fingers or rarely other parts of the body. Swollen, painless lymph nodes. Secondary stage – skin rash on palms or soles, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss and mouth sores. Latent stage – no symptoms occurs and the disease is not contagious. Tertiary stage – also not contagious at this stage but produces mild to devastating symptoms.

Tetanus – also called lockjaw is a disease in which a toxin produced by the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium tetani causes severe muscle spasms. Spores of Clostridium tetani can live for years in animal feces and soil. Once tetanus spores gain entry into a person’s body, typically through a wound, they begin to grow. Only growing tetanus bacilli produce toxins; it is the toxins and not the bacteria themselves that causes the disease.

It sometimes develops after cuts with dirty, rusty objects or deep punctures from stepping on a nail; the infection can also result from clean, superficial wounds.

Signs & Symptoms: stiffness of the jaw, restlessness, difficulty in swallowing, irritability, headache, fever, sore throat, chills, muscle spasms, stiffness of the neck’ arm and leg.

Tuberculosis – is a contagious infection caused by an airborne bacterium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually affects the lungs, although it can attack almost any organ in the body. This has been a serious public health problem for a very long time. Except for very young children, few people become sick immediately after tuberculosis bacteria enter their body. Mycobacterium tuberculosis can live only in people and cannot be carried by animals, insects, soil or other non living objects.

Signs & Symptoms: cough which may produce a small amount of yellow or green sputum in the morning and eventually become streaked with blood, cold sweat at nights, decreased energy and appetite, weight loss, SOB with chest pains. Abdominal cavity- fatigue, swelling, slight tenderness and pain. Bladder – painful urination and blood in urine. Bones – swelling with minimal pain. Brain – fever, headache, nausea, drowsiness, coma and brain damage if untreated. Kidney – kidney damage and infection around the kidneys. Lymph nodes – painless, red swelling, may drain pus. Reproductive organs – lump in scrotum (men) and sterility (women). Spine – pain, leading to lapsed vertebrae and leg paralysis.

Typhoid fevers – also called enteric fever is caused by the gram-negative bacilli Salmonella typhi and is characterized by prolonged fever, abdominal pain and a rash. Salmonella typhi is passed in the stool and urine of infected people. Inadequate hand washing after defecation and urination may spread the bacteria to food and drink. Inadequate treatment of sewage may lead to contamination of water supplies. Flies may spread the bacteria directly from stool to food. Some of the carriers may never have symptoms.

Signs & Symptoms: loss of appetite, fever, headache, joint pain, sore throat, constipation, abdominal pain and tenderness. A brassy nonproductive cough is common and nosebleeds can occur.