Biology - Infectious Diseases - Research Paper Example

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Instructor Date Infectious Diseases Infectious diseases occur when a parasite infects an organism causing illness and characteristic symptoms to occur. The parasite may be bacteria, virus, protozoa or fungi. Most of the infections come with symptoms…
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Biology - Infectious Diseases
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Download file to see previous pages In the case of infections, adaptive immunity has a greater role to play. Each foreign organism displays an antigen or multiple antigens that are recognized by the antibodies produced in our body. This recognition allows targeted action and removal of the infectious particles. If the infection is mild, our bodies are easily able to remove it. If however the infection is severe or if the symptoms are dangerous, external medication may become necessary. Also vaccination is important in order to stop the infections from occurring in the first place. Since infectious diseases are a leading cause of mortality, causing about ten percent of all deaths every year, it is important to study then closely and find a cure against them. Initially, there was a theory of spontaneous generation which stated that microorganisms were created out of lifeless matter such as meat broth. There were many scientists who played a key role in refuting the idea but the foremost were Robert Koch and Louis Pasteur. Pasteur devised a series of experiments with beef broth to prove that only when exposed to open air was the broth contaminated. He then proposed his germ theory according to which diseases were caused by microorganisms; however his attempts to prove his theory were unsuccessful. His work was carried forward by Koch who cultivated anthrax virus from a diseased organism and inserted it into a healthy one, which develops a disease (Burnet and White). The virus was isolated again and observed in the lab, confirming the germ theory proposed by Pasteur. A major breakthrough in the field was achieved by Edward Jenner when the first vaccine was developed. During the twentieth century there was a deadly outbreak of small pox that had a very high mortality rate. The victims’ bodies got covered in scabs and blisters that were full of the pox virus. The virus claimed thousands of lives all across the globe. Edward Jenner noticed two things related to the small pox infection. First, that the people who survived the onset of small pox did not contact the disease again and secondly the milkmaids rarely got affected by the disease. The milkmaids displayed signs of infection of the cowpox virus which was a milder version of the small pox. Jenner combined these observations and discovered that immunity against the small pox virus could be achieved if the people are injected with the cow pox variola virus. Within a small span of time large scale manufacturing of the variola virus started and worldwide campaigns struggled to spread the vaccine throughout the globe. Finally the efforts paid off and the small pox virus was eradicated from the world (Magner). Since then various vaccines have been developed for different infectious diseases, like polio, cholera, mumps, rubella and many others. These vaccines may be in many forms A live attenuated form of the virus which is alive but weak and therefore a lower chance of causing a disease Dead strains of the virus Toxoid vaccines which target the toxins produced by the microorganism Viral like particles, generated through genetic engineering that will trigger an immune response without causing a disease. These experiments and incidences allowed the scientists to learn a great deal about the infectious diseases and to develop cures against them. With the advent of modern technology, it is now easier to work on microorganisms. However a new kind of challenge is faced by the scientists around the world. The rapidly evolving microorganisms like HCV and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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The topic of "Biology - Infectious Diseases" is quite often seen among the assignments in high school. Still, this essay opens a fresh perspective of seeing the problem. I’ll use the idea for my own text.
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