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The Yersinia Pestis Pathogen Investigation

The modern world still faces a number of biological threats which impact the state of health of the nation. The current stage of the development of healthcare and technologies serves as a certain guarantee of the protection from the most dangerous and complicated diseases or viruses. However, one realizes the fact that it is impossible to provide the absolute barrier for all existing agents, microbes, bacteria, etc. (Bauman 24). For this reason, the continuous investigation of the well-known diseases and their symptoms is crucial to promote the further evolution of the healthcare sector and prevent the appearance of pandemics resulting in millions of deaths. Especially great attention should be given to pathogens that trigger the development of fatal diseases with contagious nature. In this regard, the paper is devoted to the investigation of Yersinia Pestis and the case related to it.

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“The Y. pestis is an extremely virulent pathogen that is likely to cause severe illness and death upon infection unless antibiotics are administered” (Sutyak para. 1). It means that the bacteria poses a great threat to the world by the possible complications and the high tempos of its transmission. Y. pestis is also characterized as the “gram-negative, bipolar-staining coccobacilli member of the Enterobacteriaceae family” (Sutyak para. 3) that needs blood to survive. This fact conditions its ability to survive and cause diseases in animals, insects and human beings. Any creature belonging to these groups could be taken as the potential bearer of Y. pestis. The above-mentioned characteristics also increase the danger coming from the bacteria and influences the way it is transmitted.

Traditionally, Oriental rat fleas are taken as the main carriers of the pathogen. The flea which feeds on an infected rodent becomes extremely dangerous for a human being. The infected flea serves as the incubator for the development of the bacteria When the flea tries to feed on a human being it transmits Y. pestis with blood which contains 11,000-24,000 bacilli (Sutyak para. 4). However, humans can also be infected by the domestic animals, direct contact with the blood or meat of the infected animal, or by the direct contact with the person with the pneumonic plague (“Plague (Yersinia Pestis)” para. 4). The threat posed by the pathogen is supported by its extremely virulence. Additionally, the temperature optimal for its development is about 37 C (Pradel et al. para. 3). The combination of these factors promotes the increase of the significance of the problem and highlights the necessity of the detailed analysis. The pathogen triggers the development of plague which exists in three forms bubonic, septicemic and pneumonic.

It follows from these cogitations that the precise investigation of the pathogen and disease is crucial to provide a certain level of security for people. Besides, the following case is related to the issue and revolves around Y. pestis. A patient, Jack Smith, is a 43 years male characterized by the good state of his organism and the absence of serious health problems. However, he is the main actor of the case as he became infected with Y. pestis. The analysis of the case provides the credible information needed for the investigation of the diseases behavior, its symptoms. etc.

The patient is a citizen of the USA. He was born in Little Rock, Arkansas and then moved to New York. He works as the reporter at the local newspaper, and his activity is not related to some dangerous affairs. Jack Smith has good living conditions and cares about the state of his dwelling. The patient is not married. For these reasons, he was unlikely to get infected in the USA. However, the investigation of his history provided the information about his visit to Madagascar during the last vacation. Trying to save some money, Jack refused to use the travel agencys services and booked a room in a cheap hotel. Soon after his journey, the first symptoms of the disease could be admitted. These facts evidence that Mr. Smith became infected in Madagascar, which is known to be one of the dangerous areas.

After the six days of his arrival, Mr. Smith felt uncomfortable. However, he made a little account of this fact, being sure that a headache and muscle aches resulted from the long journey and flight. He took an aspirin to get rid of the symptoms and decided to have a rest. The next day the state of the patient did not improve. Moreover, he felt some discomfort in the underarm. Although, Mr. Smith considered the symptoms to be not serious and did not consult the specialist. Within the next several days he admitted the appearance of new signs of the illness, such as fever, weakness and the debility in his underarm. At this stage, he decided to go to the hospital and get rid of the annoying symptoms.

Regarding the state of the patient, the process of diagnostics was not complicated. Mr. Smith had the classical disease pattern. The combination of such symptoms as high fever, muscle pain, and weakness signalize the development of plague (Yang et al. 157). Additionally, the presence of buboes in the underarm and in the neck evidenced the bubonic form of the diseases. To assure that Mr. Smith suffers from plague, the samples needed for the analysis were taken. The modern tests provide the credible data and allow and investigator to obtain the clear final result. Yet, the test of blood and the part of a swollen lymph gland proved the diagnosis and helped a specialist to determine the form of plague and the way a patient became infected. Therefore, there are also the sputum tests to diagnose the illness, but the necessity of their usage was not obvious as the patient had the main symptoms of the bubonic form of plague. However, in case there are the slightest doubts related to the results of the investigation, the additional tests should be used to obtain the additional information and create the full disease pattern.

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The diagnosed form of plague is taken as the most common of all (more than 80% of all cases) (“Plague (Yersinia Pestis)” para. 3). Additionally, if compared with the other forms, the bubonic one could be described as comparatively mild. However, the absence of the proper treatment might promote the further evolution of the disease and its spread through the bloodstream resulting in the acquisition of the septicemic form (Pradel et al. para. 1). Mr. Smith was hospitalized and provided with a separate room to prevent the further spread of the disease. The staff had to wear the protective clothes while entering the room. In the majority of cases, plague could be treated with the help of the modern medicines. That is why to guarantee Mr. Smiths recovery he was given antibiotics intravenously (Plague (Yersinia Pestis)” para. 8).

Fortunately, the patient responded to the treatment. Soon after the first medication intake, Mr. Smith felt the improvement of his state. The further treatment and the intravenous injections resulted in the absolute recovery of the patient. However, according to the practices used to prevent the spread of the disease, Mr. Smith had to be observed for three months to guarantee the recovery and the absence of relapses. At the moment, the patient reports of the absence of any symptoms and is sure of his total recovery. The blood tests do not discover Y.pestis. Resting on these facts, it is possible to state the successful treatment and the significant improvement of the state of health of the patient.

In summary, the current stage of the development of the healthcare sector promotes the significant improvement of the situation related to severe contagious diseases. The practice of the constant monitoring of the situation and the development of the preventive measures impact the given sphere and provide certain guarantees. At the same time, the scale of the problem still remains significant as every year the World Health Organization admits the cases of plague and other diseases (Yang et al. 157). In this regard, the further investigation of their main symptoms and peculiarities is crucial for the modern world. The ability of the pathogen to mutate is another significant concern as it could obtain the new features. For instance, “pathogenesis of bubonic plague has improved significantly over the last few decades” (Pradel et al. para. 1). That is why the analysis of the case like ours might help to remain informed and trace the evolution of the illness.

Works Cited

Bauman, Robert. Microbiology with Diseases by Body System. New York: Pearson.2014. Print.

Plague (Yersinia Pestis). n.d. Web.

Pradel, Elizabeth, et al. “New Insights into How Yersinia pestis Adapts to Its Mammalian Host during Bubonic Plague”. PLOS Pathogens. 10.3 (2014): n. pag. Web. Web.

Sutyak, Katia. Yersinia pestis. n.d. Web.

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Yang, Ruifu, et al.”Omics strategies for revealing Yersinia pestis virulence.” Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology. 2 (2012): 157. Web.

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