Archives for the month of: November, 2013

As this is my last blog entry I will be discussing a very dangerous issue. This issue deals with viral drug resistance. As dangerous as the threat of the increased bacterial drug resistance is, the viral drug resistance is just as dangerous. There are several reasons to why viral drug resistance is dangerous, but one of the main reasons would be the fact that viruses have a very high mutation rate. This issue has been one of the main reasons to why it is very problematic to find a treatment for HIV. Since HIV has an unbelievably rapid mutation rate. In addition to HIV, several influenza strains have been proven to be to several of the agents that are being used to treat it. This poses several questions, including whether we are producing drugs as fast as the viruses are developing the resistance against them. This issue seems to be like an on-going war where the viruses, even though hindered, are always a step ahead of us.

Their extremely rapid mutation rate is, however, not the only reason. Another major reason would be how the drugs themselves are being administered. The more the viruses are exposed to the antiviral agents, the more likely they will adapt and become resistant, therefore becoming even more virulent to us humans. As was mentioned earlier several unanswered questions arise. Including should antiviral agents be administered without the physician being a hundred percent positive that a certain disease is absolutely caused by a certain virus? Should pharmaceutical companies continuously work on new drugs since their production is both an expensive and long process? Should we humans be scared? Should we be threatened?

There is only way that these questions could be answered and that is through continuous research that involve both the viruses (it seems like we know too little about them) and drugs that could be developed. In addition to that the drugs themselves should be administered safely. That means that their administration should be both safe and controlled (only administered when required). Otherwise we could be safe practicing hygienic and preventive techniques to avoid contracting a viral disease.

In this blog I will be covering a disease that almost everybody had at least once in their lives. This disease is known as conjunctivitis, or more commonly known as “pink eye”. There are several pathogens that cause disease; these include both bacteria and viruses. However in this entry three of the main of the viruses that cause this disease will be discussed which are measles virus, adenovirus, and Herpes simplex virus (HSV).  These viruses when dealing with conjunctivitis have the same modes of transmission, effect on body and complication. Initially to contract this virus there has to be direct contact, an example would be rubbing the infected the eye of the person that has the disease and then touching the hand of another person who will, in turn, accidently touch their eye and get it infected. The reaction to this would be a cytopathic effect (is damage that virus causes when it invades the cells of the host), which results in the inflammation of the eye. This could evolve to keratitis, which in its superficial state heals and doesn’t leave scars, but in its deeper states in effects layers of the cornea, which causes scars and damage to the vision. There is no known vaccine for conjunctivitis but it usually heals rapidly and without any complications if the patient is using the eye drops that are prescribed by the physician or any other method.  Since not being careful could lead to keratitis, as was mentioned earlier, and could lead to scarring that is quite evident if it reaches the deeper levels of the cornea.

When I was just four years old, I was fooling around at a zoo, which was typical behavior for me. I was trying to feed a monkey and the monkey reacted by almost biting off my index finger. I wasn’t sure what had happened but I definitely had a big smile on my face, even though my parents were screaming and shouting several words. The only word that stuck in my head was “rabies” because they were saying it repeatedly with urgency. The other reason I remembered that word was because I had to go get another shot (vaccination) to make sure I didn’t contract rabies. At that time I had no idea what rabies was, but after taking medical microbiology and going more in depth into the topic I realized that rabies is indeed a very dangerous disease, where if contracted and no vaccination is obtained the person who acquired it will eventually die. Rabies is a viral disease that is caused by a virus known as Lyssavirus, which comes from the virus family of Rhabdovirus. This virus is transmitted through direct contact with the infected animal, so me getting beaten by a monkey would have done the trick if the monkey was actually infected with the virus. This virus works by infecting the muscles at site of the bite and then the typical symptoms of a viral infection (fever, malaise, headache). However there is another factor to this disease. The virus is transported to the CNS causing neurological symptoms to develop, the main one being hydrophobia, while other symptoms include hallucinations, seizures, and the patient going into a coma. As the symptoms show, contracting this disease can be extremely dangerous and precautionary measures must be taken immediately otherwise the patient might face the risk of death.