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Opportunistic Microbial Infections - Essay Example

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Opportunistic germs are bacteria and fungi that are found in the mucosae and the skin of external media. They then become virulent when the general immune resistance of the organism drops…
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Opportunistic Microbial Infections
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“Opportunistic” Microbial Infections “Opportunistic” Microbial Infections Opportunistic germs are bacteria and fungi that are found in the mucosae and the skin of external media. They then become virulent when the general immune resistance of the organism drops. This occurs under the influence of factors that favor the change. An example of this is some drugs, and the infections that arise from opportunistic germs have of late become more frequent. The occasional contact of an individual with these bacteria makes the prophylaxis and the diagnosis of their diseases extremely difficult, in hospitals. An individual’s immune system is in a fair condition when it is able to counteract these germs. When the immune system is weak, then the germs are strong enough to cause health problems. This paper discusses the topic of opportunistic infections. A syndrome called the Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is an immune condition, which reduces the ability of the immune system to fight infections. This condition caused a lot of deaths and sickness. However, once people started taking strong immune booster medication fewer people suffered from the opportunistic infections the most common opportunistic diseases include (Georgiev, 2003 p76); 1. Candidiasis- This is an infection that arises in the vagina, throat and the mouth this infection requires a strong immune system to fight it off. 2. Cytomegalovirus- this is a viral infection, it causes eye disease that can finally lead to blindness, and it requires a CD4 cell range of fewer than 50. 3. Herpes simplex viruses- an infection that can cause cold sores, known medically as oral herpes or genital herpes, this is a common infection but outbreaks can be more severe and frequent to those individuals who have the HIV, this infection can occur at any CD4 cell count. 4. Malaria- this is a common infection in the developing countries. It is common, and much severe in HIV infected individuals. 5. Microbacterium avium complex- this is a bacterial infection that causes fevers that are recurring, digestion problems and general sickness accompanied by the loss of weight. It occurs when the CD4 cell count is under 75 6. Pneumocystis pneumonia- a fungal disease that can cause fatal pneumonia, the cell range for the CD4 is under 200. This is a fairly common infection in individuals 7. Tuberculosis (TB) - an infection that is caused by bacteria, it attacks the lungs and in some serious conditions, can lead to meningitis. Causes There are many primary and underlying causes that result in this type of infection. They include immunodeficiency, AIDS, SCID, treatment that includes immune suppressors, transplant patients, some antibiotic treatments, and medical procedures. The main primary cause of this type of infection is the transmission from one individual to another. Some types of opportunistic infections are contagious and they spear easily in the human population. Other types of opportunistic infections are transmitted through a pathogenic organism (Sax et al, 2012 p90). Opportunistic infections can also be a sing of another underlying condition in an individual. The opportunistic infection may then have arisen due to a complication. A good example of such a condition is AIDS. In other conditions, an opportunistic infection may arise as a symptom of another condition (Myerowitz, 2005 p90). Treatment When an individual is infected with an opportunistic infection the individual’s blood is tested for the antigens or the germs that cause the infection. Proteins triggered and produced, by the immune system, to counteract the infection, are also tested in the victim’s antibodies. When the antigens are found it means that the individual has tested positive for infection, and if the antibodies are found then the victim has been subjected to the infection. This implies that the victim may have received immunization against the infection, or the immune system may have fought off the infection when an individual is infected with an opportunistic infection, and the CD4 cell count is low enough such that the opportunistic infection may develop. Therefore, the doctor or physician will check for any signs of an underling disease. The treatment may vey for different opportunistic infections (Cunha, 2012 p56). Prevention Most of the germs that are responsible for causing opportunistic diseases are common, and almost everybody carries some of these infections. An individual may reduce the risk of new infection by maintaining personal hygiene and avoiding the known causes of these infections. When an individual is infected with an opportunistic infection, he or she can take some medication that will prevent the development of the underlying disease for each opportunistic infection. There is a specific combination of drugs that work best for that infection. References Cunha B. A. 2012. Antibiotic essentials. Burlington: Jones & Bartlett Learning. Georgiev V. 2003. Opportunistic infections : treatment and prophylaxis. Totowa: Humana Press, Georgiev V, Karl A. W, John J. 2008. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH. Totowa: Humana Press. Kartikeyan et al. 2007. HIV and AIDS : basic elements and priorities. Dordrecht: Springer. Myerowitz R. L.2005. The pathology of opportunistic infections : With pathogenetic, diagnostic, and clinical correlations. New York: Raven Press. Piscitelli S. C, Keith R.2005. Drug interactions in infectious diseases. Totowa: Humana. Sax P. E, Calvin J, Daniel R. K. 2012. HIV essentials. Burlington: Jones & Bartlett Learning. Wolf H. F, Thomas M. H. 2006. Color atlas of dental hygiene. / Periodontology. Stuttgart: Thieme. Read More
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