Author: Brendan Trafford
Diseases to investigate
- Leprosy is an infection caused by bacterium Mycobacterium leprae or Mycobacterium lepromatosis. Although it remains in the body for many years seemingly dormant, at some point in time the bacteria can become active and attack neurons, the respiratory tract, the skin and eyes. This can lead to granulomas of the nerves, loss of the sensation of pain, loss of body parts due to injury or decay and poor eye sight. There are treatments for leprosy which include multidrug therapies with dapsone, rifampicin and clofazimine.
- Yellow fever is caused by the yellow fever virus which is from the family Flaviviridae. Symptoms include headache, fever, chills, vomiting and muscle pain. In some cases, the fever can go into a “second phase” in which liver/ kidney failure occur alongside gastrointestinal bleeding. The overall fatality rate is somewhere from 3 to 7% (Monath). Although there is no treatment for this disease, surviving the infection will lead to lifelong immunity. Most infections occur in tropical and subtropical areas including Africa and South America.
- Staphylococcus aureus is a gram positive round bacterium that causes a variety of infections in humans. It has become of interest lately because of the appearance of MRSA which is an antibiotic resistant form of the disease. This bacterium exists in humans and is usually non-pathogenic but in times of when the immune system is compromised it can take the opportunity to infect the host. It can affect many organ systems in the body from the gastrointestinal tract to the respiratory tract and more.
- Monath TP (April 2008). “Treatment of yellow fever”. Antiviral Res. 78 (1): 116–24. doi:10.1016/j.antiviral.2007.10.009. PMID 18061688
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