Immunological Problems

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  • Topic: Immune system, Major histocompatibility complex, T helper cell
  • Pages : 6 (2188 words )
  • Download(s) : 68
  • Published : April 9, 2013
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Infection: Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis (TB) is commonly caused by a strain of bacterium called Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. It is neither gram-positive nor gram-negative, but instead has a waxy coating on the outside of the cell that enables acid-fast techniques to be used when staining the bug. The bacterium was first discovered by Robert Koch and earned him a Nobel Prize in Medicine. Mycobacterium prevents the acidification of the phagolysosome, thus disabling the antigen from being presented. The bacterium is eventually killed off by macrophage, which eliminates all intracellular pathogens. It can also act by sabotaging the immune system by invading macrophages and preventing the formation of secondary particles.

The disease is spread through the air from one person to another through coughing, sneezing, etc. It commonly is a pulmonary disease, attacking the lungs, but can also spread to a variety of other places such as the kidney or brain. It can remain latent for extended periods of time, surfacing when the immune system is compromised for a variety of reasons. It can also be active, multiplying in the cells and causing symptoms to appear. Some common symptoms of TB include a bad cough that lasts 3+ weeks, weight loss, loss of appetite, pain in the chest, coughing up blood, chills and fever, and weakness or fatigue. If left untreated, it is fatal.

The treatment regime for this disease involves 6 to 9 months of antibiotics due to the slow growing nature of the bacteria. A latent infection requires one type of antibiotics, while a drug cocktail is used to treat active infections. The antibiotics commonly used to treat TB are Isoniazid, Rifampin, Ethambutol and Pyrazinamide. If one has a latent infection, they are not contagious, but those with an active infection should take measures not to spread the disease to others. They should stay home, ventilate all areas they are in, wear a mask, and cover their mouth among other things.
The common clinical problems for the disease are easily prevented provided some guidelines are followed. A sputum test should be administered to those who may have TB and are coughing up mucus. If the results are positive, a chest X-Ray should be taken in order to check for pulmonary consequences. Also during the course of treatment, patients must be closely observed for any type of antibiotic resistance that may develop. •Immunodeficiency: Cytomegalovirus

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a herpes virus. As many as 80 in every 100 people are infected with the virus, but many show no symptoms and do not know is has been contracted. It can be a major problem in individuals who have compromised immune systems and therefore must be carefully looked for in AIDS and transplant patients. Once infected, the virus remains in the system for life, with the body eventually developing antibodies to the disease. When symptoms do appear, they are extremely similar to those of other common illnesses including fever, sore throat, fatigue, loss of appetite, and swollen glands making the disease hard to clinically diagnose without proper testing.

CMV is commonly transmitted through close contact with the bodily fluid of an infected individual, but can also be congenital. When a baby contracts CMV before birth, it can have serious repercussions including hearing and vision loss. Infants who contract CMV after birth have no increased risk for complications. In order to avoid contracting the disease, care should be taken when in close personal contact with an infected individual. If contact is imminent, hands should be washed thoroughly after contact. One should avoid kissing or sexual contact with the infected person.

As the body develops antibodies to the disease, an ELISA test may be performed in order to detect the presence of the virus. Once symptoms appear and the virus is diagnosed, no antiviral medications are prescribed to individuals with...
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