03-13-2006, 11:23 PM
Tell me everything you know about listeria. Like... now.
I'll be honest; I had to google it, because all I know is that it's a bacteria in the bowels caused by eating contaminated food & that your immune system has to be rather weak to get it. well, I know the symptoms, but I'm guessing you do too. symptoms of sickness; fever, muscle aches. then there are gastrintestinal symptoms, like nausea & diarrhea.
the official name of the bacterium is listeria monocytogenes. monocytes are white bloodcells that evolve into macrophages, which swallow bacteria by phagocytosis, so they are part of our natural immunesystem. by looking at the name, I'd say they behave like monocytes? I don't know.
apparently listeria can enter the nervous system, which causes headaches, loss of balance, confusion, stiff neck, or convulsions. it can cause bloodpoisening (sepsis), which can obviously lead to shock as the arterial system dilatates to get rid of the bacteria. this causes blood to go out of the vessels, untill there's not enough circulating blood -> shock. it can also cause meningitis, which makes sense.
listeriosis: a zoonose disease (from animals on humans) with main symptom meningitis, then sepsis (like I said), pneumonia, endocarditis, encefalitis, otitis media, endometritis. bacil; listeria monocytogenes.
Merck medical manual:
Listeriosis is an infection, caused by the grampositive barshaped bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, that can have many different infections as a result, for instance meningitis, eye-infections, miscarriage, vomiting & diarrhea. the infection often has no symptoms in healthy people.
Listeria monocytogenes is everywhere in the world in the environment and in the bowels of many animals. In most cases, cases with listeriosis occur in July & August and are a result of consumption of contaminated food, mostly meat, dairy products & raw vegetables. When researching normal fresh foodproducts, the bacterium was found in 15 to 70% of the products. Despite the common occurance of the bacterium, listeriosis is rare (year incidence 1-3 of a million). Newborn babies, people older than 70 years old and patients with a weakened immune system are the most sensitive.
Symptoms & Diagnosis:
Listeriosis can damage almost every organ in the body, but with grown ups & newborns most often the meninges (membranes around spinal cord & brain) get infected with meningitis as a result. Meningitis causes fever & a stiff neck. Without treatment, the disease can lead to confusion, coma & in the end death. With max. 20% of the patients with meningitis there can arise brainabcesses.
The bacterium can sometimes infect the eyes, which makes them red & painful. The infection can spread to the lymfeglands, the blood & brain- & spinalcord membranes. In rare cases an infection of the heartvalves (endocarditis) can cause heartfailure and lead to death.
Though listeriosis during the pregnancy can stay unnoticed with the mother, the foetus can die in the womb, leading to miscarriage, or the child can die soon after birth. Sometimes a meningitis occurs with healthy looking babies a week, or two after birth.
To diagnose it's most often necessary to take a tissuesample, or a sample of bodily fluids. Antibodies against the bacterium can, after while, also be pointed out in bloodsamples.
Treatment with the antibiotic amoxicilline (hah, that's what I'm taking now!) with or without the combination with gentamicine or by giving co-trimoxazol, most of the times heals listeriosis. When the heartvalves are infected a combination of antibiotics is given. Eye-infections can be treated with oral erytromycine.
it's a crappy translation, but you get the point.
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