Summary: Microbial Disease Mechanisms

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  • 1 Introduction

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  • When is the term commensalism often applied?

    When the relationship between two organism is unknown or not obvious
  • Potential/opportunistic pathogen:

    Microorganism that lives in a commensal or parasitic relationship without causing disease unless they have the opportunity
    Example: pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • What are potential or opportunistic pathogens?

    Normally live in a commensal or parasitic relationship without producing disease in their host
    - Unless they have an opportunity brought on by some compromise or weakness in the host's anatomical barriers, tissue resistance, or immunity
  • What are obligate pathogens?

    Pathogens that do not associate with their host except in the case of disease
  • When is an infection said to have occured?

    If a bacterium breaches the blood or internal tissue surface 
    - An infection does not necessarily lead to infectious disease
  • How are pathogenic bacteria able to produce disease?

    Because they possess certain structural or biochemical or genetic trait that render them pathogenic or virulent
  • What are clostridium tetani and corynebacterium diphtheriae?

    Clostridium tetani -> causes tetanus, toxin producing (muscle cramps)
    Corynebacterium diphtheriae -> toxin producing, non motile bacteria
  • What are the pathogen's virulence determinants?

    The sum of characteristics that allow a given bacterium to produce disease
  • What do staphylococcus aureus, treptococcus pyogenes and pseudonomas aurginosa have?

    They have more virulence factors (determinants)
  • What are host defences?

    The host has various degrees of resistance to the parasite

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