I. Background/History: What is the history of this organism as it relates to us? When did we first become aware of it? How long has it been considered a pathogen?
II. Characteristics: How is this organism classified? What makes this organism unique from other related organisms? How is this organism identified in a lab?
III. Pathogenesis: What disease does this organism cause? What are the signs and symptoms of this disease? How does this organism cause disease? How does it interact with the host body? How does the host body fight back?
IV. Treatment: What is the treatment for the organism? What are the risks of treatment? How does the organism respond to treatment?
In 1805, a general practitioner named Gaspard Vieusseux first clinically characterized an epidemic of meningococcal illness in Geneva. Although the first case of meningitis was documented in Africa in the 1840s, it wasn’t until 1887 that Austrian bacteriologist Anton Vaykselbaum established that meningococcal germs were to blame. Lumbar puncture (LP) was first performed on a patient with probable meningitis in 1890 by Heinrich Quincke (1842-1922). (Gaschignard, 2019). To this day, LP is still the gold standard for diagnosing meningitis and determining its root etiology. A lack of quick diagnosis and treatment for bacterial meningitis can lead to devastating consequences like brain damage, hearing loss, and even death. This variety of meningitis develops when germs enter the bloodstream and then migrate to the brain and spinal cord. In addition to Haemophilus influenzae (often type b), Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Neisseria meningitidis, there are a number of other bacterial species that can cause bacterial meningitis. Whether through the airborne transmission of coughs and sneezes or through the transfer of saliva during kissing or mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, these germs can quickly spread from person to person. Consumption of tainted food has been linked to several strains of bacterial meningitis, albeit the exact origin of these cases is not always clear (Theobald, 2020). Cont
Bacterial meningitis is characterized by the rapid development of symptoms like fever, headache, and neck stiffness. Within three to seven days of contact to disease-causing microorganisms, other symptoms such as rash, nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to light, and confusion may manifest. Bacterial meningitis is difficult to diagnose since its symptoms are similar to those of the flu. The infection that causes bacterial meningitis can be treated with medications, so getting help quickly is crucial.
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