Immunisation Against Viral Infection Is Not Always Possible
It is possible to vaccinate against many serious viral infections such as measles, mumps, hepatitis A and hepatitis B. An aggressive worldwide vaccination campaign, headed by the World Health Organization , managed to wipe out smallpox. However, some viruses such as those that cause the common cold are capable of mutating from one person to the next. This is how an infection with essentially the same virus can keep dodging the immune system. Vaccination for these kinds of viruses is difficult, because the viruses have already changed their format by the time vaccines are developed.
Microbes As The Cause Of Hepatitis
The five viruses that cause hepatitis are transmitted differently:
- Hepatitis A and E are spread through ingestion of food or water that has been contaminated by fecal material from an infected person, also known as the fecal-oral route of transmission.
- Hepatitis B is spread through contact with infected blood or other bodily fluids such as semen.
- Hepatitis C is transmitted through exposure to infected blood.
- Hepatitis A can be transmitted through sexual contact, and hepatitis C can be transmitted rarely from sexual contact.
- Hepatitis D is also transmitted through contact with infected blood or other body fluids, but only people already infected with hepatitis B are at risk because hepatitis B allows hepatitis D to survive in the body.
Treatments for hepatitis B, C, and D suppress the virus in the human body to protect the liver and other organs from damage.
Diagnosis Of Hiv Infection
Tests to detect antibodies to the HIV virus in a sample of blood or saliva
Tests to detect HIV RNA in a sample of blood
Early diagnosis of HIV infection is important because it makes early treatment possible. Early treatment enables infected people to live longer, be healthier, and be less likely to transmit HIV to other people.
Doctors usually ask about risk factors for HIV infection Transmission of HIV Infection Human immunodeficiency virus infection is a viral infection that progressively destroys certain white blood cells and can cause acquired immunodeficiency syndrome . HIV is transmitted… read more and about symptoms .
Doctors also do a complete physical examination to check for signs of opportunistic infections, such as swollen lymph nodes and white patches inside the mouth , and for signs of Kaposi sarcoma of the skin or mouth.
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Hbv And Hepatocellular Carcinoma
When tests for HBsAg became widely available, regions of the world where thechronic carrier state is common were found to be coincident with those wherethere is a high prevalence of primary liver cancer. Furthermore, in these areas,patients with tumor almost invariably are seropositive for HBsAg. A prospectivestudy in Taiwan revealed that 184 cases of hepatocellular carcinoma occurred in3,454 carriers of HBsAg at the start of the study, but only 10 such tumors arosein the 19,253 control males who were HBsAg negative.
Control And Prevention Of Hepatitis A
In areas of high prevalence, most children are infected early in life and suchinfections are generally asymptomatic. Infections acquired later in life are ofincreasing clinical severity. Less than 10% of cases of acute hepatitis A inchildren up to the age of six are icteric, but this increases to4050% in the 614 age group and to 7080% inadults.
Of 115,551 cases of hepatitis A in the USA between 1983 and 1987, only 9% of thecases, but more than 70% of the fatalities, were in those aged over 49. It isimportant, therefore, to protect those at risk because of personal contact withinfected individuals or because of travel to a highly endemic area. Other groupsat risk of hepatitis A infection include staff and residents of institutions forthe mentally handicapped, day care centers for children, sexually active malehomosexuals, intravenous drug abusers, sewage workers, certain groups of healthcare workers such as medical students on elective studies in countries wherehepatitis A is common, military personnel, and certain low socio-economic groupsin defined community settings. Patients with chronic liver disease, especiallyif visiting an endemic area, should be immunized against hepatitis A. In somedeveloping countries, the incidence of clinical hepatitis A is increasing asimprovements in socio-economic conditions result in infection later in life, andstrategies for immunization are yet to be developed and agreed.
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Characteristics Of The Bacterium
Most bacteria, apart from the cocci variety, move around with the aid of small lashing tails or by whipping their bodies from side to side. Under the right conditions, a bacterium reproduces by dividing in two. Each daughter cell then divides in two and so on, so that a single bacterium can bloom into a population of some 500,000 or more within just eight hours.If the environmental conditions dont suit the bacteria, some varieties morph into a dormant state. They develop a tough outer coating and await the appropriate change of conditions. These hibernating bacteria are called spores. Spores are harder to kill than active bacteria because of their outer coating.
How Does Hbv Spread From Person To Person
HBV is spread through contact with the blood, semen, or other body fluid of a person who has HBV. Among adults in the United States, HBV is spread mainly through sexual contact.
HBV can also spread from person to person in the following ways:
- From contact with the blood or open sores of a person who has HBV
- From an accidental prick or cut from an HBV-contaminated needle or other sharp object
- From a mother who has HBV to her child during childbirth
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How Can I Know If I Have Hiv
You cant tell if someone has HIV just by looking at them, and you may not have any symptoms if youre infected by HIV. The only way to know if you have HIV is to take an HIV test.
Since nearly 1 out of 7 people with HIV dont know it, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recommends screening people between the ages of 13 to 64 at least once as part of routine healthcare. This test is voluntary and confidential.
When To Contact A Medical Professional
Seek care immediately if you:
- Have symptoms from too much acetaminophen or other medicines. You may need to have your stomach pumped
- Vomit blood
- Have bloody or tarry stools
- Are confused or delirious
- You have any symptoms of hepatitis or believe that you have been exposed to hepatitis A, B, or C.
- You cannot keep food down due to excessive vomiting. You may need to receive nutrition through a vein .
- You feel sick and have travelled to Asia, Africa, South America, or Central America.
Preventing Bloodborne Infections And Diseases
It is important to remember that anyone can be exposed to potential bloodborne infections and diseases. If you are in a position where you need to clean up another persons blood or body fluids, doing so could possibly put you at risk.
Even if you think you have safely removed all of the blood or fluids from the area, some viruses can remain dormant and reactivate when exposed to water, putting you or your family at risk later.
To ensure you are protecting yourself and your loved ones, contact a professional remediation company to properly disinfect areas affected by bloodborne infections and diseases. Aftermath provides blood cleanup, biohazard remediation and removal, and communicable disease disinfection services.
Our team of professionals are trained in bloodborne pathogens, safety equipment, and hazardous communications protocols, enabling us to perform effective and safe bloodborne pathogen cleanup.Contact Aftermath anytime for assistance.
National Institutes of Health: http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Education/pages/factsheet_sepsis.aspxWebMD: http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/sepsis-septicemia-blood-infection
Preventing Hepatitis And Hiv Infections In The Hospital
Isolation precautions create barriers between people and germs. They help prevent the spread of germs in the hospital.
Follow standard precautions with all people.
When you are near or are handling blood, bodily fluids, body tissues, mucous membranes, or areas of open skin, you must use personal protective equipment . Depending on the exposure, you may need:
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What Is A Retrovirus
rather than as DNA DNA Genes are segments of deoxyribonucleic acid that contain the code for a specific protein that functions in one or more types of cells in the body. Chromosomes are structures within cells… read more .
When HIV enters a human cell, it releases its RNA, and an enzyme called reverse transcriptase makes a DNA copy of the HIV RNA. The resulting HIV DNA is integrated into the infected cells DNA. This process is the reverse of that used by human cells, which make an RNA copy of DNA. Thus, HIV is called a retrovirus, referring to the reversed process.
Other RNA viruses , unlike retroviruses, do not make DNA copies after they invade cells. They simply make RNA copies of their original RNA.
Each time an HIV-infected cell divides, it makes a new copy of the integrated HIV DNA as well as its own genes. The HIV DNA copy is either
HIV-1 originated in Central Africa during the first half of the 20th century when a closely related chimpanzee virus first infected people. The global spread of HIV-1 began in the late 1970s, and AIDS was first recognized in 1981.
More About Hepatitis And Hiv Infections
- Symptoms of hepatitis B and hepatitis C may be mild, and not start until 2 weeks to 6 months after contact with the virus. Sometimes, there are no symptoms.
- Hepatitis B often gets better on its own and sometimes does not need to be treated. Some people develop a long-term infection that leads to liver damage.
- Most people who become infected with hepatitis C develop a long-term infection. After many years, they often have liver damage.
After someone is infected with HIV, the virus stays in the body. It slowly harms or destroys the immune system. Your body’s immune system fights disease and helps you heal. When it is weakened by HIV, you are more likely to get sick from other infections, including ones that would not normally make you sick.
Treatment can help people with all of these infections.
Hepatitis B can be prevented by a vaccine. There is no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C or HIV.
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Transmission Of Hiv Infection
The transmission of HIV requires contact with a body fluid that contains the virus or cells infected with the virus. HIV can appear in nearly any body fluid, but transmission occurs mainly through blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk. Although tears, urine, and saliva may contain low concentrations of HIV, transmission through these fluids is extremely rare, if it occurs at all.
HIV is not transmitted by casual contact or by close, nonsexual contact at work, school, or home. No case of HIV transmission has been traced to the coughing or sneezing of an infected person or to a mosquito bite. Transmission from an infected doctor or dentist to a patient is extremely rare.
HIV is usually transmitted in the following ways:
HIV is more likely to be transmitted if skin or a mucous membrane is torn or damagedeven if minimally.
In the United States, Europe, and Australia, HIV has been transmitted mainly through men who have sex with men and the sharing of needles among people who inject drugs, but transmission through heterosexual contact accounts for about one fourth of cases. HIV transmission in Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia occurs primarily between heterosexuals, and HIV infection occurs equally among men and women. In the United States, fewer than 25% of adults who have HIV infection are women. Before 1992, most American women with HIV were infected by injecting drugs with contaminated needles, but now most are infected through heterosexual contact.
The Bodys Response To Viral Infection
Viruses pose a considerable challenge to the bodys immune system because they hide inside cells. This makes it difficult for antibodies to reach them. Some special immune system cells, called T-lymphocytes, can recognise and kill cells containing viruses, since the surface of infected cells is changed when the virus begins to multiply. Many viruses, when released from infected cells, will be effectively knocked out by antibodies that have been produced in response to infection or previous immunisation.
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What Tests Diagnose Hiv
There are three types of HIV tests: antigen/antibody tests, antibody tests and nucleic acid tests :
Antigen tests look for markers on the surface of HIV called p24. Antibody tests look for chemicals your body makes when it reacts to those markers. HIV antigen/antibody tests look for both.
A healthcare provider will take a small sample of blood from your arm with a needle. The blood is sent to a lab and tested for p24 and antibodies to it. An antigen/antibody test is usually able to detect HIV in 18 to 45 days after exposure.
A rapid antigen/antibody test may also be done with a finger prick to draw blood. Youll need to wait at least 18 days after exposure for this type of test to be able to detect HIV. You may need to take the test up to 90 days after exposure for accurate results.
These tests look for antibodies to HIV in your blood or saliva. This can be done with a blood draw from your arm, a finger prick or with a stick that you rub on your gums to collect saliva.
An antibody test can take 23 to 90 days after exposure to detect HIV. Antibody tests done with a blood draw can detect HIV sooner than those done with saliva or blood from a finger prick.
Nucleic acid tests
NATs look for the HIV virus in your blood. A healthcare provider will take a small sample of blood from your arm with a needle. The blood then is sent to a lab and tested for HIV.
- Viral hepatitis screening.
Hepatitis B Antibody Escape Mutants
Production of antibodies to the group antigenic determinant amediates cross-protection against all sub-types, as has been demonstrated bychallenge with a second subtype of the virus following recovery from an initialexperimental infection. The epitope a is located in the regionof amino acids 124148 of the major surface protein, and appears tohave a double-loop conformation. A monoclonal antibody which recognizes a regionwithin this a epitope is capable of neutralizing theinfectivity of hepatitis B virus for chimpanzees, and competitive inhibitionassays using the same monoclonal antibody demonstrate that equivalent antibodiesare present in the sera of subjects immunized with either plasma-derived orrecombinant hepatitis B vaccine.
During a study of the immunogenicity and efficacy of hepatitis B vaccines inItaly, a number of individuals who had apparently mounted a successful immuneresponse and become anti-surface antibody -positive, later becameinfected with HBV.
The region in which this mutation occurs is an important virus epitope to whichvaccine-induced neutralizing antibody binds, as discussed above, and the mutantvirus is not neutralized by antibody to this specificity. It can replicate as acompetent virus, implying that the amino acid substitution does not alter theattachment of the virus to the liver cell.
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Who Is At Risk For Mac
People who have a weakened immune system, due to HIV, cancer, long-term use of corticosteroid drugs, or an organ or bone marrow transplant, are at risk of developing MAC.
People with HIV most at risk of developing MAC are those who:
- have a CD4 count below 50 cells/mm3
- have a viral load over 100,000 copies/ml
- have previously had MAC or another opportunistic infection
Bloodborne Pathogens And Needlestick Prevention
What are bloodborne pathogens?
Bloodborne pathogens are infectious microorganisms in human blood that can cause disease in humans. These pathogens include, but are not limited to, hepatitis B , hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus . Needlesticks and other sharps-related injuries may expose workers to bloodborne pathogens. Workers in many occupations, including first responders, housekeeping personnel in some industries, nurses and other healthcare personnel, all may be at risk for exposure to bloodborne pathogens.
What can be done to control exposure to bloodborne pathogens?
In order to reduce or eliminate the hazards of occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens, an employer must implement an exposure control plan for the worksite with details on employee protection measures. The plan must also describe how an employer will use engineering and work practice controls, personal protective clothing and equipment, employee training, medical surveillance, hepatitis B vaccinations, and other provisions as required by OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard . Engineering controls are the primary means of eliminating or minimizing employee exposure and include the use of safer medical devices, such as needleless devices, shielded needle devices, and plastic capillary tubes.
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Whats The Outlook For People Who Have Hiv And Hepatitis
HIV-hepatitis coinfections are treatable, but there are differences in the overall outlook depending on the severity and type.
For example, HCV may be cured within months, while HBV often requires lifelong treatment. If youre living with HIV, youll also need lifelong treatment for HIV, too. Complications may include cirrhosis or liver cancer.
Theres no medication available for HAV infections. If youre living with HIV and receive an HAV diagnosis, your doctor will monitor your condition carefully for complications, such as liver failure.
With treatment, HIV can become undetectable. When the virus is undetectable, it cant be transmitted to other people.
If youre living with HIV without a current hepatitis infection, your doctor may recommend regular testing to help detect hepatitis early on, depending on your risk factors. The earlier hepatitis is diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome.