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Bacterial Diseases. Pathogenicity. “the state of producing or being able to produce pathological changes and disease”. Staphylococcus. “a genus of gram-negative, nonmotile, opportunistic bacteria which tend to aggregate in irregular, grape-like clusters”. Readings Question #1.

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Bacterial Diseases

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Bacterial Diseases


  • “the state of producing or being able to produce pathological changes and disease”


  • “a genus of gram-negative, nonmotile, opportunistic bacteria which tend to aggregate in irregular, grape-like clusters”

Readings Question #1

  • Staphylococcus aureus is the most pathogenic of the staphylococci. What are its toxins capable of doing? What enzymes does it produce, and what is their known effect?

Staphylococcal Food Poisoning

  • caused by ingesting an enterotoxin

  • high resistance to heat, drying and radiation, and high osmotic pressures

  • inhabitant of nasal passages…contaminates the hands…..readily enters food

  • mechanical vectors

  • mayonnaise, cream sauces

Skin and Wound Infections

  • Sty: “infected follicle of an eyelash”

Skin and Wound Infections (cont’d)

  • Pimple: infected hair follicle

  • Abscess: more serious hair follicle infection

    • furuncle/boil: superficial

    • carbuncle: deeper

  • Risk of underlying tissues becoming infected

  • Toxemia: toxins circulate

Scalded Skin Syndrome

Toxic Shock Syndrome

  • S. aureus growth associated with the use of a new type of highly absorbent vaginal tampon

  • swell with menstrual fluids and adhere to the vagina

  • tears in the vaginal wall


“spherical shaped bacteria occurring in chains”

What are the implications for the embalmer when dealing with saprophytes?

Streptococcus pneumoniae( pneumococcus)

  • gram-positive ovoid bacterium

  • cell pairs surrounded by capsule

  • common cause of:

    1) lobar pneumonia

    2) meningitis

    3) otitis media

Lobar Pneumonia

  • Readings question #2:

  • What is lobar pneumonia, and how is it characterized?

  • What are some of the predisposing conditions for this disease?

  • penicillin and fluoroquinolones


  • 70% of the population are healthy carriers

  • Gram-positive encapsulated diplococcus

  • Leading cause of bacterial meningitis

  • Most cases between 1 month and 4 years

  • Broad-spectrum cephalosporins

  • CSF obtained by a spinal tap

  • Vaccine: Pneumococcal Conjugated Vaccine

Otitis Media

  • 85% before 3 years of age (Eustachian Tubes)

Streptococcus pyogenes

  • Scarlet Fever: streptococcal pharyngitis

  • Septic Sore Throat: respiratory secretions

    • penicillin

  • Puerperal Sepsis: Childbirth/Childbed Fever

  • Rheumatic Fever: arthritis and fever

    • 50% inflammation of the heart

    • penicillin

    • Syndenham’s chorea


  • obligate anaerobes

  • rod-shaped cells that contain endospores

  • Clostridium botulinum: botulin

Readings Question 3

  • Clostridium tetani causes what bacterial infection? Describe the characteristics of this microbe. Where is it found? What are its symptoms, and what causes them?

Gas Gangrene

Gas Gangrene

Readings Question #4

Clostridium perfringens is the causative agent of a postmortem condition known as tissue gas.

List 3 things that may result in this condition in the decedent.

List 7 conditions that predispose the decedent to tissue gas formation.

Food Intoxication

  • Clostridium perfringens Gastroenteritis: one of the more common forms of food poisoning in the United States

  • improper handling of meat during the slaughtering of animals

  • 2 main causes: 1) keeping foods warm for more than 20 minutes

    2) inadequate refrigeration

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