General Defense Mechanisms Associated with the Digestive System

1833 WordsMar 11, 20068 Pages
Mary Gorton Microbiology Research paper Page 1 General defense mechanisms associated with the digestive system The gastrointestinal tract is a lymphoid organ, and the lymphoid tissue within it is collectively referred to as the gut-associated lymphoid tissue or GALT. The number of lymphocytes in the GALT is roughly equivalent to those in the spleen, and, based on location, these cells are distributed in three basic populations: 1. Peyer's Patches: These are lymphoid follicles similar in many ways to lymph nodes, located in the mucosa and extending into the submucosa of the small intestine, especially the ileum. In adults, B-lymphocytes predominate in Peyer's patches. Smaller lymphoid nodules can be found throughout the intestinal…show more content…
Roughly 80% of people do not have any signs or symptoms, if they do they appear as the following; Jaundice, fatigue, dark urine, abdominal pain, loss of appetite and nausea. Primarily blood and blood products transmit the virus. The majority of infected individuals has either received blood transfusions prior to 1990 (when screening of the blood supply for HCV was implemented) or has used intravenous drugs. Sexual transmission between monogamous couples is rare but HCV infection is more common in sexually promiscuous individuals. Perinatal transmission from mother to fetus or infant is also relatively low but possible (less than 10%). Many individuals infected with HCV have no obvious risk factors. Most of these persons have probably been inadvertently exposed to contaminated blood or blood products. (Worman, M. D.) Interferon and ribavirin are two drugs licensed for the treatment of persons with chronic hepatitis C. Interferon can be taken alone or in combination with ribavirin. Combination therapy, using pegylated interferon and ribavirin, is currently the treatment of choice. Combination therapy can get rid of the virus in up to 5 out of 10 persons for genotype 1 and in up to 8 out of 10 persons for genotype 2 and 3. (Viral Hepatitis C) More than 80% of infected individuals eventually progress to the chronic stage Mary Gorton

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