Emerging Infectious Diseases

Emerging infectious diseases are those whose incidence in humans has increased in the past 2 decades or threaten to increase in the near future. These diseases, which respect no national boundaries, can challenge efforts to protect workers as prevention and control recommendations may not be immediately available. The occupational safety and health community can prepare for these unpredictable disease outbreaks and prevent disease transmission with these resources for protecting workers, particularly healthcare workers, nurses, doctors, and first responders.

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/emerginfectdiseases/default.html

 

Thyroid Disease in Women

Your thyroid produces thyroid hormone, which controls many activities in your body, including how fast you burn calories and how fast your heart beats. Diseases of the thyroid cause it to make either too much or too little of the hormone. Depending on how much or how little hormone your thyroid makes, you may often feel restless or tired, or you may lose or gain weight. Women are more likely than men to have thyroid diseases, especially right after pregnancy and after menopause.

 

https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/thyroid-disease

What is the difference between CML (chronic myelogenous leukemia) become AML (acute myelogenous leukemia) and CMMoL (chronic myelomonocytic leukemia)?

 

The three diseases you mention are 3 distinct entities.

CML or chronic myelogenous leukemia is a disease in which patients have too many mature white blood cells. It is considered a myeloproliferative disorder-a condition in which the bone marrow makes too many cells. This disease is diagnosed by the presence of either the Philadelphia Chromosome or the gene made by the Philadelphia chromosome, called bcr-abl. New treatments, which target this abnormal gene, have been developed. It is considered in the list of possible diagnoses, this chromosome is looked for so that appropriate therapy is not missed.

AML or acute myelogenous leukemia is a disease in which patients have too many immature white blood cells in their bone marrow that are not capable of maturing properly. These immature cells act very rapidly and can cause life-threatening problems if the disease is not treated promptly.

CMMoL or chronic myelomonocytic leukemia is a disorder of the bone marrow where the bone marrow is making too many white blood cells called monocytes. The bone marrow appears myeloproliferative but the cells that it makes are not normal mature cells and do not function properly. This disorder is called a myelodysplatic disorder (funny looking bone marrow). Its progression and outcome is variable and can be predicted to some degree by the blood counts and bone marrow findings.

 

https://www.oncolink.org/frequently-asked-questions/cancers/leukemia/general-concerns/what-is-the-difference-between-cml-chronic-myelogenous-leukemia-become-aml-acute-myelogenous-leukemia-and-cmmol-chronic-myelomonocytic-leukemia

 

Scientists reveal how immune system tags Toxoplasma capsule

 

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Scientists at the Francis Crick Institute have discovered how the host immune system deals with the prolific Toxoplasma parasite as it attempts to camouflage itself by hiding inside a capsule called a vacuole in human cells.

 

For the first time, they’ve revealed how a protein called ubiquitin tags the vacuole hiding Toxoplasma. The cell’s acidification system then destroys it.

Eva Frickel, the research group leader at the Crick who led the work, explains: “The parasite Toxoplasma gondii resides inside a vacuole in the cells of the organism it infects. The vacuole provides a safe haven for the parasite where it can multiply and cause damage to the host. Until now, it was unclear what defence mechanisms human cells deploy to the vacuole to clear and eliminate Toxoplasma. We have found that a human protein called ubiquitin tags the vacuole for destruction via the cell’s acidification system.”

Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite found almost everywhere. It is in soil and unwashed food, but its most important host is the cat. It causes an infection called toxoplasmosis that can cause miscarriage and is especially damaging to people who have a weakened immune system, others never know they’ve been infected.

The team used immunofluorescent microscopy to visualise each step in vacuole destruction. They learnt how a ubiquitin protein tags the vacuole and then attracts other proteins that stick on and allow it to join with an acidic compartment called the lysosome. This then destroys the vacuole and parasite.

“This work is the first demonstration of how ubiquitin tagging leads to vacuole-lysosome fusion in human cells infected with Toxoplasma,” Eva says. “Until now, it was thought the vacuoles were not susceptible. Mouse studies have shown a different route to fusion between the vacuole and lysosome. This raises questions for further studies on how vacuolar-lysosomal fusion in human cells happens and why the human cellular immune response is different from the mouse.”

Eva’s research team explores how react to Toxoplasma and what it is that makes it one of the most successful on the planet. There is no vaccine to protect against Toxoplasma infection or medicine that kills the parasite.

Eva talks about their work and shares images from the progress they are making in research in the Crick’s first public exhibition (above). How do we look? is a collection of scientific images that could be mistaken for works of art though each has been created by a scientist to solve a research problem.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-01-scientists-reveal-immune-tags-toxoplasma.html#jCp

Immune disorders impact student lives

By Hannah Lathen

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SE student Janna Gentry lives with a mother who has Crohn’s disease and lupus, causing her to have stomach ulcers and inflamed joints.

Online student Laken Reeder has Sjogren’s syndrome, causing extreme pain and difficulties with eating.

TCC students are fighting hidden and misunderstood battles with autoimmune diseases. Even though they affect 1 in 6 people, many do not understand what they are or that they exist.

An autoimmune disease occurs in the body when one’s immune system starts attacking healthy cells. Instead of protecting the body from foreign invaders, the system starts hurting organs.

autoimmune_sjogren's_plasma_research

What is Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis?

December 1-7: Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week

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Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis (UC) are both under the umbrella of Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and affect at least 1.6 million Americans and 112 million worldwide. While treatments for these diseases are available, there is not yet a known cure. These diseases are also very tricky because every person’s body reacts differently which means that there is not one treatment, but many different methods and approaches to managing the symptoms of each case. Many people affected by Crohn’s or UC may not even be aware that they have it, as symptoms vary in frequency and severity, and may take several doctor visits to diagnose.

Crohn’s disease was first discovered in 1932 by Burrill Crohn, Leon Ginzberg, and Gordon D. Oppenheimer. At the time, it was only identified as being a “new disease entity”, but was later named by those who discovered it. (CCFA) Reports of this disease date back to the early 1900s. Ulcerative Colitis was first described in 1875 by Wilks and Moxon, two English physicians. Reports of UC date all the way back to before the Civil War, though there are reports of similar symptoms before that when the practice of medicine was less specific.

Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis (UC) are only two of the inflammatory diseases (there are many others) that affect the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Crohn’s disease can affect any of the GI tract, but UC affects only the large intestine and the rectum. When these areas are irritated and inflamed, it inhibits the body’s ability to properly absorb nutrients and water, as well as affecting the elimination of waste, which can then lead to additional health problems. Early symptoms of the disease include abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fatigue, loss of appetite, fever, and blood in your stool.

crohns diagram

One of the reasons why there is yet a cure for these types of IBD is because the diseases themselves are not completely understood. It is known, however, that the genes, immune system, and environmental factors all interact to cause the diseases to present. For people with IBD, the body mistakes the healthy and harmless bacteria in the digestive tract as “harmful invaders” and this causes the body to have an immune response. The immune response is what then causes the inflammation to occur in the gut. The main issue for IBD is that this inflammation then becomes chronic, because the immune response does not stop happening, which can result in ulcers and “thickening of the intestinal wall”. (CCFA)

Types of medical treatment for IBD include medication and surgical. Medications largely stem around anti-inflammatory agents which can help to control the irritation and inflammation. There are also antibiotics which can be used to target infections that occur because of the overgrowth of bacteria and other digestive flora. For people who cannot get control of these diseases with medication, sometimes surgery is needed. Those with Crohn’s are at a greater chance of needing surgery with statistics around 70% of those with Crohn’s. This surgery, however, is only a treatment for the disease and not a cure. As Crohn’s can affect the entirety of the digestive tract, these patients can have a recurrence within 3 years. For UC, around 30% will need surgery which involves the removal of the colon and rectum (the areas affected by the disease). As this is the only area affected by the UC, those patients who have this surgery are cured of their UC.

Cooking-With-Crohns-Recipes-01-1440x810

Interestingly, even though it is the digestive system that is affected dietary treatments for Crohn’s and UC vary widely. Since for Crohn’s, the disease can affect different areas, it is not possible to assign a specific diet to help in the treatment of the whole population of disease. However, there are many recommendations for diet that can be tested per individual as different foods can cause differing bacteria reactions for individuals. For people affected by the disease it can be helpful to start a food diary to track your nutrition and also be aware of what you ingested if something is causing a flair up in your symptoms.

If this is a disease that affects you, do not despair. There are many options for treating and dealing with the symptoms and style of life that comes with having a digestive disorder. The first step to dealing with Crohn’s or UC is to fully accept the diagnosis and move forward with living your definition of a full and healthy life. The biggest deterrent for those diagnosed with these digestive diseases from remission and relief is the attitude and approach to recovery. Those diagnosed who have the greatest success with treating their diseases are those who stay disciplined and focused on their goal of remission.

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For more information and resources, take a look at the website for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation included in our sources. Connect with your community, explore the current research, and learn how to help others and yourself!

 

Sources:

http://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org
http://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org/resources/facts-about-inflammatory.html
https://www.healthline.com/health/crohns-disease#diet

A Rosy Outlook for Pregnancy & Lupus

Article Source: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/878764

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There was a time when women diagnosed with lupus were cautioned against getting pregnant; the combination of lupus and pregnancy was thought to be too dangerous for mother and child. However, research by Jane Salmon, MD, a rheumatologist at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York City, is now helping change this belief. By carefully risk-stratifying patients on the basis of clinical and biological markers, it seems that the vast majority of pregnant patients with lupus can be assured that their pregnancies will be uncomplicated. Medscape recently spoke to Dr Salmon about her work.

Medscape: Tell us a little about how you began studying pregnancy and lupus.

Dr Salmon: Patients with lupus tend to be young women in their reproductive years. Lupus generally presents between age 20 and 40 years, and 90% of the patients are women. Some of the first questions they often ask when they receive their diagnosis are, “Can I have children?” “Will my pregnancy be safe?” and “Will my children have lupus?”

In the 1980s, when I was training in rheumatology, the feeling was that pregnancy in lupus was dangerous. This wasn’t based on strong evidence, but on the rational concept that because lupus tends to be a disease of women, hormones may play a role in disease pathogenesis, and pregnancy is a state with high levels of female hormones (ie, estrogens, progesterone). Thus, it was anticipated that patients with lupus who become pregnant would have severe flares. And in fact, patients who become pregnant when their disease is active and not well-controlled often develop even more severe organ dysfunction. So there was clinical basis for the anxiety among the physicians, but perhaps it was applied too broadly.

Medscape: How has your research helped changed this way of thinking?

Dr Salmon: Patients asked for and deserve data around such an important question. They wanted the evidence that, in fact, this was true. And we wanted to identify the predictors of poor pregnancy outcomes and the mechanisms that caused damage to the placenta and the developing baby.