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Etiology/Causative Agents Causative Agents Of Salmonellosis

1436 words - 6 pages

Etiology/Causative Agents
Salmonellosis is an illness caused by the zoonotic bacteria, Salmonella typhimurium or Salmonella enteritidis. Salmonella is of the Enterobacteriaceae gram-negative family (CDC). Salmonellosis is commonly thought of as an intense stomach bug, or food poisoning. This illness is most commonly foodborne, and occurs upon the digestion of animal feces that has contaminated the source (Minnesota Department of Health). When food is not properly cooked to remove all bacteria, or if food is contaminated after preparation, this is when the person is most likely to become infected. Due to the portal of entry being through ingestion of the bacteria, it takes form primarily in ...view middle of the document...

Salmonella will likely run its course without medical attention, but in select cases some get a disease called Reiter’s syndrome, which is chronic and can cause arthritis long-term (WebMD).

There are reportedly between 30,000-40,000 cases per year in the United States alone. Of these cases 95% are caused by food-borne bacteria (MedScape). However, more mild cases aren’t reported, which means the legitimate number could be thousands greater (Minnesota Department of Health). Out of all the reported cases, one third of them are infect children under the age of four (Kids Health). Like most illnesses, Salmonellosis can affect nearly anyone. Those that are most susceptible include young children with immune systems that are not fully developed, as well as elderly people will deteriorating immune systems. Although Salmonella is serious, the potential rare high risk diseases are the real threat. There are four main groups that fall into higher risk categories to contract these diseases. They are as follows: (Kid’s Health)
1. People with chronic immune debilitating diseases, like Mononucleosis
2. Those taking drugs to help aid in the removal of cancer
3. Those that no longer have a functioning spleen, or have sickle cell disease
4. People taking medications that reduce the acidity of the stomach (This would let the Salmonella bacterium thrive more due to the removal of stress from lower pH.)
The most common disease caused by Salmonellosis is Typhoid Fever. This illness causes extreme fever, and can lead to death (CDC). Reiter’s Syndrome is also something that can increase in risk factor for a person affected by Salmonellosis. This disease causes arthritis, and extreme discomfort.

Salmonella enters the body mainly through ingestion. Certain foods are more likely to be infected than others. It is more typical for infected foods to be from animals, or around animals that could contaminate it. Raw meats, poultry, seafood, eggs and fruits and vegetables are the most commonly infected. Bacteria can be avoided if proper cooking precautions are taken. Things like rinsing foods, and cooking them thoroughly can help to prevent food poisoning. Pets can also carry the bacteria. It can be in their fecal matter, or shells of pet turtles. One of the main reasons anyone working in the food industry is required to be out of work if they are experiencing diarrhea is to reduce the chance of transmitting Salmonella. Any feces transferred to food, and consumed will cause food poisoning. This is also why it is so important for everyone to stay on top of personal hygiene and regular hand washing (Minnesota Department of Health). After consumption, the incubation period typically begins to show symptoms within the first three days.

Once the virus reaches the stomach, this is where the bacterium flourishes. Salmonella actually has a protein capable of maintaining the cell’s tight junction upon penetration. This protein is called AvrA (Live Science). Because...

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