Johne’s disease is a contagious, bacterial disease that is responsible for considerable financial losses in infected livestock.
It isn’t just the financial costs that need to be considered, Johne’s disease also imposes welfare issues on infected animals and there are growing concerns over implications to public health.
Johne’s disease is caused by bacteria that are [...]
Phenylketonuria (PKU) became a recognised clinical condition in 1934 when Norwegian physician Ivar Asbjørn Følling identified a link between mental retardation and elevated levels of phenylalanine (hyperphenylalaninemia). The elevated levels of phenylalanine (Phe) was a recognised consequence of a deficiency of the enzyme phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH).
Traditional meat inspection, which is still practiced in abattoirs today, was first developed during the 1880s. It was created to detect diseases such as trichinellosis, tuberculosis and taeniasis all of which were endemic at the time (Blackmore 1986). By detecting such diseases, it was possible to remove objectionable meat from the human food chain, thus protecting the public from toxic or infectious hazards. Since that time however, the method of meat inspection has changed little and it is only during recent years that the traditional methods are being scrutinised.
Virulence is the ability of a microorganism to produce disease. Virulence depends on the number of infecting bacteria, their route of entry into the body, the response of the host immune system and any characteristics specific to that bacteria.
The generic purpose of an antibiotic is to prevent the growth and/or survival of invading organisms whilst causing minimal damage and toxicity to the host. The typical mechanism of antibiotic action involves targeting specific enzymes or substrates of the invading bacterial species.
Staphylococcus is a gram positive, cocci shaped, genus of bacteria. Observed under a microscope will reveal they exist in microscopic ‘grape-like’ clusters. One species of staphylococci, Staphylococcus aureus, can grow at temperature ranges of 15-45ºC and at a relatively high NaCl concentration of 15%.
Much like humans, bacteria are subject to evolution. Evolution occurs through beneficial mutations in the DNA. Because bacteria have much shorter generation times than humans, the process of evolution occurs much more rapidly. An example of how bacteria evolve through mutation is point mutation.
Point mutation is the random mutation of DNA nucleotides [...]
Only a tiny amount of bacteria found on Earth are actually associated with disease. The number associated with human disease is as low as 0.001%. Bacteria are extremely small when compared to humans, for example the width of an average bacterium is often no greater than 1.5μm.
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