Campylobacteriosis (Deadly Diseases and Epidemics) by Bibiana Law, I. Edward Alcamo

By Bibiana Law, I. Edward Alcamo

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Jejuni. Defenses such as lymphocytes keep our blood and tissues free of foreign agents. Lymphocytes are part of the body’s specific defense system, which responds to specific threats by infectious agents such as bacteria. This system includes lymphocytes such as B cells, which create fighter antibodies, and T cells. Our bodies also have a nonspecific defense system , which fights all foreign bodies the same way. q 4/21/04 3:48 PM Page 61 How Campylobacter Organisms Cause Disease • Phagocytosis, which is ingestion or engulfment of foreign invaders by white blood cells or leukocytes such as neutrophils and macrophages, commonly called phagocytes.

14 The importance of this research is that it indicates that Campylobacter may be “hiding” in our immune cells and using them for transportation. Reproduction occurs in the macrophages and death of the macrophages results in the spread of Campylobacter. Only recently have we begun to understand Campylobacter. q 4/15/04 9:37 PM Page 56 56 CAMPYLOBACTERIOSIS the stomach, a natural defense mechanism of the digestive system. 2). In chemistry, this is actually a measure of the concentration of the hydrogen ions.

At first, it seems logical that person-to-person transmission would be high since such a low infectious dose is required, but recall the sensitivity of Campylobacter. Outside of the intestinal tract, the lack of growth and poor survival of Campylobacter mean it has a low transmission rate. Once ingested, though, Campylobacter is quite capable of reproducing and causing damage. As with other food poisonings, the attack rate or degree of illness varies according to the ingested dose and the particular strain of bacteria.

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