Monday, March 19, 2007

Clostridium difficile

Hello, my name is C. difficile.
I'm an anaerobic, Gram Positive rod that can make spores.
I live in your digestive tract.

I cause pseudomembranous colitis.
Sometimes if you take broad spectrum antibiotics (especially clindamycin and the cephalosporins) you kill off your friendly bacteria.
That leaves lots of room for me.
I make toxins that cause very bad inflammation.
You get diarrhoea, abdominal pain and a fever.

I covered myself in a white membrane like coating that can be seen on the inside of your intestines.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Clostridium perfringens

My name is C. perfringens.
I'm a Gram Positive rod and anaerobic.
I live in soil and can make spores to survive to for a long time.

I can cause myonecrosis, or "gas gangrene".
I get into your muscles in wounds and make toxins.
As I eat away at your muscles, I let off gases that build up between them.

When I am "type A", I can cause food poisoning.
I live in undercooked meat and make spores in your gut.
I make an enterotoxin that gives you cramping and diarrhoea.

My "type C" form causes "necrotising enteritis".
You have to eat undercooked pork with me in it.
You also have to eat alot of foods like sweet potatoes, which have a chemical called trypsin inhibitor in them.
When they are together, I can make my
β-toxin and eat away at your bowels.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Actinomyces isrealii

Hello there, I'm A. isrealii.
I'm an anaerobic Gram Positive rod that can't make spores.
Like my cousin N. asteroides, I am part of the actinomycetes group
We act like fungi

From plants or soil, I get into your skin through cuts.
I can cause actinomycotic mycetoma (or actinomycetoma or short).
I also live in your mouth and gut.
From there I can cause actinomycosis, mostly in your mouth ("lumpy jaw"), gut and lungs.

In both diseases, I cause puss-filled abscesses that erode tissue, then travel up your lymph.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Nocardia asteroides

My name is N. asteroides
I'm a Gram Positive rod.
I am aerobic (breathe oxygen) and can't make spores.
I'm part of a special group called actinomycetes.
We get the name because we look a lot like fungi.
We even grown little filamentous branches.
I grow slowly on a gram stain, where I look speckled.

I love to get into your skin through cuts, especially from thorns and plants.
I like causing infections in people with weak immune systems.
I cause Nocardiosis when I get into lungs.
I spread through your blood to get into your brain.