The Nature Of Infectious Disease

2542 WordsApr 7, 201611 Pages
The nature of infectious disease remains a far-reaching catalyst of poor public health. The inflation of new diseases, re-emergence of diseases and antimicrobial resistance to drugs is the result of changes in society and the microorganisms themselves (Cohen, 2000). The employment of drugs to prevent and combat disease often leads to drug resistance, as determined in the current antibiotic crisis. New ways of combating disease will and are being set up, such as the new budding theory of cross-reacting immunisation in bacterial infections. The primary weakness with this theory is that as a newfangled concept, its own complications will likely unfold. Pathogens are the causal agents of infectious disease and pathogens include micro…show more content…
Viruses are especially adept at this. Helical viruses look rod shaped under a microscope and can be fixed or flexible (Gillen, 2007). Viruses lack the power to make up proteins and metabolize sugars and need a host to live. Viruses locally invade membranous tissue, replicates and grows and finally causes infection in the target organ (skin, lungs, or nervous system). The virus then opens to the bloodstream after injecting their DNA into a cell, bursting from the cell, destroying the cell and then continuing to infect other cells (Sompayrac, 2002). A central component of a viruses’ structure which allow it to operate as a pathogen is its antigens [See: Figure 1]. Viruses are refined in their power to adapt and mutate their antigens through antigenic variation which prevents the immune system from seeing the correct antibody, giving the virus time to spread (Craig and Scherf, 2003). HIV is a virus which prevents CD4+ cells (Th cells) from activating the body’s immune response, through cell signalling. Thus, when a virus enters the body, it can dominate the immune system in an HIV+ host; allowing for opportunistic infections, such as pneumonia, which can kill. Thus, the nature of viral infections is etiologic to a virus causing disease in hosts with a deficient immune system. In HIV, the virus remains latent in cells until viral transcription and translation
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