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    Microbes that are difficult to control

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    Please describe a short topic of discussion for the following item listed below.

    Which pathogen is more difficult to control: A pathogenic virus or bacteria?

    This course has introduced a variety of disease organisms. Pathogenic bacteria have claimed many lives in third world countries. Bacteria have been controlled through antibiotics, however; resistance to antibiotics has brought back the dangers of disease that was previously thought to be under control. Virus infections have been prevented through the use vaccines. However, new emerging disease viruses have shown themselves

    For this discussion give one example of a bacteria that has shown antibiotic resistance, and one virus that we have had little success vaccinating against. Share your opinion which of these pathogens are the most difficult to control, bacteria or viruses. Explain why you believe which is the most difficult to control. Please comment on a classmate's response as well before the second Friday of the module.

    Please check out the website promedmail.org to obtain up to date information about what organisms are causing disease in the world today which are considered to be significant.

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    SOLUTION This solution is FREE courtesy of BrainMass!

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    Bacteria resistance

    The most prevalent antibiotic resistant infection that must be study and understand in the modern world is the "Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection". (1) It is caused by a strain of staphloccocus bacteria that has developed resistant to the common antibiotic for treating normal staphloccocuc aureus infection. These antibiotic resistant infection occurred in patients residing in hospitals. The MRSA infection in the hospitals are caused by using invasive devices or methods, such as intravenous tubing and surgeries. (1)
    MRSA infection also occurred in the community and it can spread through skin contact in crowded places. MRSA infection begin with a "small red bumps that quickly turn into deep painful abscesses, which require surgical draining." (1) The Staphloccocus bacteria remain deep into the skin and can infect deep into the body causing life-threatening infections in joints, bones, surgical wounds, bloodstream, heart, and lungs." (1)

    The Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection is the result of continuous unnecessary antibiotic use for decades. When antibiotics are used against colds, flu and other viral infections, the antibiotics do not respond to these infection because cold and flu are viral infections. The bacteria that survive the antibiotic have learn to develop resistant to the first treatment. Antibiotics do not respond or killed all the bacteria that they target. The continue used of antibiotic on the bacteria cause the surviving bacteria to develop resistant for the antibiotics. The bacteria genome changes all the time through evolution. Through evolutionary process, the bacteria that survive mutate their genome so that they develop resistant genes for the antibiotic the next time they are exposed to the same antibiotic. Bacteria become resistance to the antibiotics because of mutation in their DNA or genome.

    The widespread repeated usage and the inappropriate use of antibiotic is causing the antibiotic resistance. (5) The overuse of antibiotics is causing more antibiotic resistance in bacteria. We all must work together to prevent the onset of antibiotic resistance bacteria. (5) Healthcare providers, hospital administrator, and patients must work together to develop an effective strategies to prevent the resistance of antibiotics. (5)
    The patients can take antibiotics exactly as the doctor prescribes and only take prescribed antibiotics. (5 )The patients must not take the wrong antibiotics, which can cause bacteria to multiply. Patients "should not share or use leftover antibiotics" (5) They cannot ask "save antibiotics for the next illness." (5) They should also practice good hand hygiene and get recommended vaccine.
    The healthcare provider should not treat viral infections with antibiotics and only prescribe antibiotics only when needed. (5) They should not give two antibiotics for the same bacteria treatment. (5)

    Viral resistance

    HIV is a member of a class of viruses called the retroviruses, which contain RNA (ribonucleic acid) as their genetic material. HIV is an RNA virus because it has RNA as its genome. When the HIV RNA virus infect a host cell, the HIV virus contain an enzyme reverse transcriptase that convert its RNA genome into DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). The HIV virus proceed to self-replicate using the host cell's machinery.

    HIV belongs to the subgroup within the retrovirus family called the lentiviruses. The lentivirus are "slow viruses". Because lentiviruses are known to have long incubation time period between initial infection and the beginning of serious symptoms. This is why people infected with HIV are unaware of their HIV infection and spread the virus to others.

    HIV is transmitted through sperm, blood, and other bodily fluids. There are several routes of transmission through : anal and vaginal sex; contaminated needles, blood and blood products, fluid exchange of mothers and infants. About 60% of adult AIDS cases were sexually transmitted. The most significant involve transmission of bodily fluid in general. Specifically penile penetration of the anus among gay and bisexual men, accounts for 60% of sexually transmitted AIDS cases. Penile penetration of vagina make up 7% of sexually transmitted AIDS cases. About 32% of AIDS cases were associated with injection of drug use. Other forms of transmission includes blood transfusion, skin or organs grafts, and blood infection.

    When HIV infect the host, it replicates rapidly with several billion new viruses everyday. It is difficult to stop HIV infection because of the ability for the virus to mutate and evolve. The reverse transcriptase often makes mistake when converting HIV's RNA into DNAs. As a result, new types or strains of HIV will develop in person infected with HIV. HIV is constantly changing and trying to evade the immune system, and this is why it is difficult to stop the virus.

    HIV destroys the immune system by killing billions of CD4+ T cells in an infected person. The HIV virus killed the CD4+ T cells by budding out from the CD4+ T cell surface and disrupt the CD4+ T cell membrane and causes the cell to die. The CD4+ T cells can be expire when the virus uses up the CD4+ T cell's machinery for its own purpose. This disrupt the activities needed for the survival of the cell.

    Because the HIV replication can greatly distorted the cell's machinery and functions, the infected cells may commit suicide by a process known as programmed cell death or apoptosis.

    Based on the information above about bacteria resistance and viral resistance, I believe that viral resistance and infection is the most difficult to control. As mentioned above, the HIV virus can mutate every second and it is hard to develop a vaccine that will target one viral HIV strain. The HIV virus is constantly changing everyday. HIV also destroy the host immune system enabling susceptible infection with other pathogens. Thus, the HIV virus is the most difficult to control and stop.

    1. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/mrsa/DS00735
    2. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/751606
    3. http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v2/n3/antibiotic-resistance-of-bacteria
    4. Pray, Leslie. (2008). Antibiotic Resistance, Mutation Rates and MRSA. Nature Education. Gene and Disease.
    5. http://www.cdc.gov/features/antibioticresistance/
    6. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/hivaids/understanding/biology/Pages/factors.aspx
    7. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/hivaids/understanding/biology/Pages/biology.aspx
    8. http://sophia.smith.edu/~rflor/Biology.htm.

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