Microbial Infection and Pathogenesis - Endotoxins

17 important questions on Microbial Infection and Pathogenesis - Endotoxins

Compare and contrast exotoxins and endotoxins in terms of their source, release mechanism, and basic properties.

Exotoxins are secreted products of living cells, while endotoxins are cell-bound and released only when bacterial cells lyse. Exotoxins are proteins, whereas endotoxins are lipopolysaccharides. Refer to Table 25.3 for a comparison of their basic properties.

Explain the structure of endotoxins, focusing on the components responsible for toxicity. How does the modification of lipid A affect the properties of the endotoxin?

Endotoxins consist of lipid A, O-specific polysaccharide, and core polysaccharide. Lipid A is responsible for toxicity, and modifications in lipid A, such as changes in phosphate groups and fatty acid side chains, can affect the properties of the endotoxin, either evading immune recognition or altering toxicity.

Describe the physiological effects of endotoxin exposure. How does endotoxin contribute to fever, and what are the consequences of large endotoxin doses?

Endotoxin exposure induces fever by stimulating host cells to release cytokines, affecting the brain's temperature-controlling center. Other effects include diarrhea, increased heart rate, lymphocyte and platelet decrease, inflammation, complement cascade activation, and blood coagulation cascade activation. Large doses can cause death from hemorrhagic shock and kidney failure.
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Compare the toxicity of endotoxins and exotoxins. Provide examples of each and discuss their lethality, considering LD50 values.

Endotoxins are generally less toxic than most exotoxins. For example, the LD50 for endotoxin is 200–400 micrograms per animal in mice, while the LD50 for botulinum exotoxin is about 25 picograms, approximately 10 million times less toxic.

Explain the Limulus Amoebocyte Lysate (LAL) assay for endotoxin detection. How does the assay work, and what is its significance in pharmaceutical quality control?

The LAL assay uses lysates of amoebocytes from the horseshoe crab Limulus polyphemus to detect endotoxins. Endotoxin presence causes amoebocyte lysis, resulting in gel formation and turbidity changes. The assay is crucial in pharmaceutical quality control to ensure injectable antibiotics and intravenous solutions are free of endotoxin contamination. Recombinant DNA techniques can produce factor C for a more standardized, cost-effective, and animal-free assay.

What are some key terms related to the language of epidemiology?

- Disease surveillance in a population
- Observation
- Recognition
- Reporting
- Incidence
- Number of new cases
- Prevalence

What is the significance of "Morbidity" in the field of epidemiology?

- Incidence of disease
- Major causes of illness vary from major causes of death

Describe the concept of "Herd Immunity" in the context of the host community.

- High enough proportion of population immune
- More infectious disease → higher percentage of immunity

What are the different modes of disease transmission involving people?

- Person to person
- Direct transmission

Explain the term "Vector" in the context of infectious disease transmission and reservoirs.

- Often marked by an annual cyclic pattern
- Can replicate pathogens

Define "Carrier" with respect to infectious disease transmission and reservoirs.

- Someone that carries the disease but showing almost no symptoms

What is the concept of a "Zoonosis" when discussing infectious diseases?

- Disease that infects an animal transmit to humans

What does "Pandemic" signify in epidemiology?

- Widespread – global epidemic

Explain the term "Convalescent period" in the stages of disease.

- Phase when a person returns to a healthy state

What is the significance of "Mortality" in epidemiology?

- Incidence of death
- Mortality rates vary in different regions

Describe the concept of "DALY" in epidemiology.

- Disability adjusted life year
- Measures disease burden in years lost

What is "Coevolution" in the context of the host and pathogen relationship?

- Evolutionary process where two species influence each other's development

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