In honor of Get Smart About Antibiotics Week, November 14-20, 2011 , we are delving into the subjects of bacteria, viruses, appropriate use of antibiotics, and avoiding infection.
Bacteria and Antibiotics
Before the discovery of penicillin in 1928, bacterial infections were a major cause of death . Bacteria are single-celled organisms which can live both inside and outside of the human body, including on the surface of non-living objects. The bacteria, streptococcus pyogenes which is responsible for strep throat and some skin infections, was previously the cause of half of all post-birth deaths before penicillin (an early antimicrobial medication) came into common use. The bacteria, staphylococcus aureus, was fatal in 80 percent of infected wounds. Tuberculosis and pneumonia bacteria were also horribly dangerous.
Antimicrobial medications, or antibiotics, have saved countless lives during the past 80+ years. However, when they are not used appropriat...
<p><strong>What Is Vaginitis?</strong></p>
<p>Vaginitis is a disorder of the vagina caused by infection or inflammation. It is often a result of infection by one of various microorganisms, but vaginitis may also be caused by irritation from soaps or medications, an allergic reaction, or hormonal changes. The three most common types of vaginitis are candidiasis (yeast infection), trichomoniasis (infection by a tiny, one-celled organism called a protozoan), and bacterial vaginosis. These three types account for more than 90% of all vaginitis seen in non-menopausal women. Menopausal women may get atrophic vaginitis associated with thinning of the walls of the vagina. This is due to estrogen deprivation.</p>
<p>Although irritating, vaginitis is not a serious health risk, and it typically subsides quickly with treatment. Recurrent or persistent cases may be associated with an underlying medical condition.</p>
It is estimated that as many as 250,000 people in the UK suffer from Crohn's Disease. UK scientists recently noticed a cluster of Crohn's patients, which may be attributed to an inhaled bacteria. Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis, or MAP, is a bacteria that causes Johne's disease in cattle. Johne's disease symptoms include livestock wasting and diarrhea. In people, especially children, the symptoms may begin as a cough or mild inflammation of the throat or lungs ( 1 ). In this study the MAP aerosols, or inhaled bacterial particles, were found in the River Taff that runs right through the cluster area. Runoff from cattle farms in the area appears to be the cause of MAP in the river. Shower heads in the area also collected MAP when domestic water was abstracted from the river. One of five aerosol samples collected above the River Taff and three out of 30 of the shower heads in area homes tested positive for MAP ( 2 ). *Running the...
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