Cholera Disease Research Report

2239 words 9 pages
Karla Obasi
HEA 341
Disease Research Report
December 9, 2010
Disease Defined Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that causes a large amount of watery diarrhea. Cholera is a bacterial disease (caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae) usually spread through contaminated water. The bacteria, which are found in fecal-contaminated food and water and in raw or undercooked seafood, produce a toxin that affects the intestines causing diarrhea, vomiting, and severe fluid and electrolyte loss. This overwhelming dehydration is the outstanding characteristic of the disease and is the main cause of death. Cholera has a short incubation period (two or three days) and runs a quick course. In untreated cases the death rate is
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Etiology/Pathophysiology Most of the Vibrio cholerae bacteria in the contaminated water consumed by the host do not survive the highly acidic conditions of the human stomach. The few bacteria that do survive conserve their energy and store during the passage through the stomach by shutting down protein production. When the surviving bacteria exit the stomach and reach the small intestine, they need to propel themselves through the thick mucus that lines the small intestine to get to the intestinal wall where they can thrive. The bacteria start up production of the protein flagellin to make flagella so that they can propel themselves through the mucus of the small intestine.StoIn some animals, including vertebrates, echinoderms, insects and molluscs, the stomach is a muscular, hollow, dilated part of the alimentary canal which functions as the primary organ of the digestive tract. It is involved in the second phase of digestion, following mastication . The stomach is...
Once the cholera bacteria reach the intestinal wall, they do not need the flagella propellers to move any longer. The bacteria stop producing the protein flagellin, thus again conserving energy and nutrients by changing the mix of proteins which they manufacture in response to the changed chemical surroundings. On reaching the intestinal wall, Vibrio cholerae start producing the toxic proteins that give the infected person a watery diarrhea. This carries the multiplying new


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