Antimicrobial Resistance, Resistant Nosocomial Pathogens and Molecular Diagnosis of Emerging Infectious Diseases

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Microorganisms form part of our normal flora, however they can become pathogens where their main role is to survive and multiply, often at the expense of the host. Pathogens cause infectious diseases depending on their virulence; this was first realised when Louis Pasteur discovered microbes contaminated wine, causing it to go sour. He wondered how microbes affected humans; however it was Robert Koch that linked the contamination of microbes to the cause of infectious diseases. Between them they discovered and identified many of the microbes that caused diseases. Bacteria, Fungi, Virus and protozoan are all agents that cause infectious diseases. Infectious diseases can be asymptomatic for a long period of time before symptoms are apparent,…show more content…
Once infected, B.burgdorferi affects the lymphatic system, and if left untreated damages the joints and nervous systems. Other factors include poor population health causing contaminated food sources or water supplies, and finally increase in international travel as these increases the emergence of pathogens to new environments.
‘Numerically, RNA viruses dominate 37% of all emerging and re-emerging pathogens’ (Woolhouse and Gowtage-Sequeria, 2005:1845). Human Immunodeficiency Virus: HIV, was first isolated in 1983 and is a rapidly emerging pathogen that has affected medicine, HIV is the most research aspect of medicine ever since it was discovered. HIV can progress to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS); where the immune system cannot fight off opportunistic diseases that then become life-threatening, however not in all cases of HIV infection progresses to AIDS. HIV is transmitted in body fluids and the main way of transmission is by sexual contact; once infected, HIV: made up of eight genes, uses CD4 cells to make copies of itself destroying the cells in the process, leading to reduced CD4 counts. Another emerging pathogen is H5N1 (influenza A), which was isolated in humans in 1997 ‘emerged from wild birds to cause epizootics that amplified virus transmission in domestic poultry’ (Morens and Fauci, 2013). Avian influenza (Al) is an infectious viral disease of birds, ‘Al viruses are divided into two groups based on their virulence:

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