What Is the Infectious Agent

Topics: Bacteria, Hygiene, Immune system Pages: 2 (743 words) Published: October 24, 2012
1. What is the infectious agent (pathogen) that causes this infectious disease? For example the name of the bacteria, virus, or parasite. Giardia is protozoan and also flagellated. Flagellated means using appendages in a whip-like movement to propel. Giardia attaches to the host through the lining of the upper intestines. Once it attaches itself, it begins to feed and reproduce causing the giardiasis to commence. Giardia reproduces by dividing itself, which defines it as a trophozoite. This process of division is known as binary fission. Because Giardia reproduces asexually, a single parasite can result in millions within a very short period of time. Giardia detaches from the lining of the intestine and flows down into the fecal stream. The parasite then creates a cyst, which will eventually be released from the body during defecation. This release is known as cyst excretion or “shedding” and can last for months. The process begins again when another human ingests giardia, and therefore creates another host environment for the parasite. 2. How is this infectious agent transmitted through food or water? Giardia is most commonly transmitted through water and must be ingested in order to spread the parasite. For giardia to occur, an infected human and or animal would have to somehow spread it from their feces. For instance the reason why we boil water, (not only to make it hot) but to sterilize the water so that there are no parasites of viruses. Giardia can also be received by ingesting even the tiniest amount of contaminated food, water, and even soil. From my understanding you can ingest a cyst without even knowing, for instance when walking into a restaurant we grab the door handle. That surface is so horrifically dirty it’s disgusting. After that the mere gesture of touching your fork tip and then eating with it right after. 3. What is an example of a real life outbreak of this food borne illness in the United States? While you can receive giardia...
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