Food Intoxication And Infection Essay
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Foodborne diseases are common in all parts of the world. Foodborne diseases are associated with the food consumed. These diseases can be categorized into two forms based on the cause of the disease. Food intoxication or food poisoning and food infection are the two divisions of the foodborne diseases. Food intoxication is the result of consumption of toxins along with the food. Toxins can be produced by the bacteria, fungi, or they may be already present in the food, for instance, some mushrooms are toxic. These mushrooms naturally possess the toxin which is hazardous to the human body if consumed. Toxins are the chemicals which affect the functions of the body systems by manipulating the biological reactions. If the concentration of the toxins is very high, it can cause acute type of disease, and the person can face the symptoms after few hours of the consumption of toxins with food. The main symptoms include vomiting and nausea. On the other hand, the mycotoxins produced by the fungi can produced the long term illness even present in small concentration in the food. Most of these toxins are heat resistant therefore, they cannot be deactivated by the cooking process. Consequently, the harmful effects of the toxins persist in the food even after cooking (DeBruyne et al., 2011).
Conversely, the food infection is the result of the harmful microorganisms. These microbes are the infectious pathogens which are present in food. If the food already invaded by the infectious agents is eaten, the person may develop the illness. This is due to the multiplication of the infectious microbe within the human body. The site for multiplication of these microbes is mainly the intestine. In the intestine, after multiplication, these infectious agents attain a significant number which is the infectious dose. Hence, acquiring the infectious dose enables the pathogens to release toxins in the intestine. These toxins are responsible for the disruption of epithelial cells which in the intestine (DeBruyne et al., 2011).
The food intoxication can result in food poisoning which is not long lasting and severe if the person is healthy. This kind of food intoxication is caused by the Staphylococcus aureus which produces the toxin present in the food. The food is contaminated by unhygienic conditions in which the food is handled. Hence, the food is contaminated by the S.aureus and becomes the carrier of toxins. The main symptom of S.aureus food poisoning is vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain. Usually, this intoxication does not require treatment and an individual regain back his health after 24 to 48 hours. However, children and immunocompromised or weak immunity person can be at risk and this food poisoning can be lethal to them as severe dehydration occurs if, not treated.
Botulism is another disease resulted from the food intoxication by Clostridium botulinum. The main symptoms of this disease are double and blurred vision, dry mouth, muscle weakness, difficulty in swallowing. These are symptoms associated with the muscles, therefore, if this disease is not treated, it may cause paralysis of arms, legs, respiratory muscles, and trunk. Consequently, the disability of respiratory muscles can lead to death due to lack of adequate breath (Lobato, 2008).
Gastroenteritis is the disease under the category of food intoxication which is caused by Clostridium perfringes. The main symptoms of the disease are dehydration, watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and pain. This intoxication also gets treated within 24 hours without the administration of any antibiotic (Phelps & Hassed, 2010). However, the fluids are lost during dehydration, therefore, if the fluids are not balanced in the body, the person may face complications due to dehydration.
The food infection caused by Clostridium difficile leads to inflammation of the colon with the symptoms significantly as diarrhea and abdominal cramps. But serious infection can result in fever, nausea, weight loss, kidney failure, etc. the untreated infection can initiate toxic megacolon, kidney failure, or a hole in the intestine.
Salmonella typhi produces typhoid fever in the individual who consumes the food contaminated with this species. The symptoms are diarrhea which can be bloody sometimes, fever, nausea, dehydration. The complications are not observed with this disease unless the immunity is weak. In that case, the untreated infection can cause meningitis, sepsis, psychosis, intestinal perforation, etc. (Forsythe, 2011).
Dysentery is the infection of the intestine caused by Shigella dysenteriae species. The main symptoms of this disease are stomachache, diarrhea, fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain (Singh, 2013). The untreated dysentery can cause toxic megacolon which later ruptures the colon leading to peritonitis.
DeBruyne, L., Pinna, K., & Whitney, E. (2011). Nutrition and diet therapy. Cengage Learning. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com/gp/search?index=books&linkCode=qs&keywords=9781305480810 on 13th February 2015.
Forsythe, S. J. (2011). The microbiology of safe food. John Wiley & Sons. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com/gp/search?index=books&linkCode=qs&keywords=9781405140058 on 13th February 2015.
Lobato, E. B., Gravenstein, N., & Kirby, R. R. (2004). Complications in anesthesiology. ethics, 27(4), 391-414. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com/gp/search?index=books&linkCode=qs&keywords=9780781782630 on 13th February 2015.
Phelps, K., & Hassed, C. (2010). General Practice: The Integrative Approach. Elsevier Australia. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com/gp/search?index=books&linkCode=qs&keywords=9780729538046 on 13th February 2015.
Singh, P. P., & Sharma, V. (2013). Water and Health. Springer. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com/gp/search?index=books&linkCode=qs&keywords=9788132210290 on 13th February 2015.
The Staphylococcus is the genus which contains both pathogenic and non-pathogenic microorganisms. The species of this genus are capable of surviving in drying condition despite of formation of endospore. They are resistant to drying, therefore, without the production of endospores, they can tolerate drying. Most of the staphylococci species are present over the skin of the human body. Consequently, when the pathogens are able to defoliate the mucous barrier of membranes, they can enter into the body and produce ill-effects leading to a disease.
There are many species which are pathogens under the genus staphylococcus. Among them, the three major species are S. aureus, S. saprophytic, S. epidermidis. The most dangerous and harmful species among the three is the S. aureus. S. aureus is considered as more pathogenic for all three significant species of the genus staphylococcus because this pathogen is able to cause a number of diseases in the human body. S. aureus is responsible for the production of abscess over the skin, acne, carbuncles, and impetigo. On the other hand, S. aureus is involved in the diseases such as; cystitis, food poisoning, endocarditis, pyelonephritis, pneumonia, osteomyelitis.
The virulence factors are the characteristics that determine the pathogenicity of the microorganism. The pathogens possess variety of characters in order to be more pathogenic and resist the defense mechanism of the human body. The foremost pathogenic factor is the determination of adherence strength of the pathogen to its infectious site. Moreover, the pathogenicity can be determined by the analysis of the enzymes and toxins which are released by the pathogen during the course of infection. Also, the capsule or biofilm can be a factor in the pathogenesis as it helps the pathogen to escape the immune cells of the body during the body defense. In addition, the carbohydrates and proteins present on the cell surface aids in the protection of the pathogen, therefore, contribute to the pathogenicity (Cross, 2008).
Spreading factors are the enzymes produced by the pathogens. The major function of these enzymes is to disrupt the physical properties of tissues and intracellular matrices in the human body. The important enzyme in this category is the hyaluronidase which is chiefly produced by staphylococci and clostridium (Starr & Engleberg, 2006). The enzyme attacks the connective tissue through conducting the depolymerization of the substrate hyaluronic acid. Similarly, other enzymes contribute to the spreading factors are as follow: collagenase enzyme defoliates the collagen which is present in the muscles leading to the onset of gas gangrene. In addition, neuraminidase enzyme affects the neuraminic acid which is present in the intestinal mucosa. Similarly, streptokinase and staphylokinase are the enzymes which activate the plasminogen to plasmin. Consequently, plasmin conducts the unnecessary digestion of the fibrin which results in prevention of blood clotting. Hyaluronic acid is present in most of the body parts including the skin which are first barriers through the pathogens. Subsequently, the pathogens release the spreading factors in order to damage the barriers and invade the inside body. The spreading factor enzymes rupture the hyaluronic acid which leads to damage of the protective layer over the human body against the pathogen. The barrier is removed so the pathogens can easily enter the infectious site and cause disease. Hence, spreading factors help in penetration of the pathogen into the body and helps in the infection caused by the pathogen.
Cross, A. S. (2008). What is a virulence factor? Critical Care, 12(6), 196. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2646308/ on 13th February 2015.
Starr, C. R., & Engleberg, N. C. (2006). Role of hyaluronidase in subcutaneous spread and growth of the group A streptococcus. Infection and immunity, 74(1), 40-48. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1346594/ on 13th February 2015.
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