Human Bacterial Diseases from Ocean
Several bacteria that cause human disease can be found in the ocean. The actual incidence of bacterial disease that results from seawater or seafood is not precisely known but is thought to be relatively low in the USA, although some diseases are on the rise. Bacterial disease from the ocean is more prevalent worldwide, especially in developing countries and in countries that derive most of their protein from seafood. Compared to the viruses, bacteria account for a much lower incidence of disease emanating from the ocean, both in the USA and worldwide. However, it is important to understand and mitigate bacterial disease from the ocean, because of such environmental pressures as global warming, antibiotic resistance, pollution, breakdowns in sanitation (e.g., Haiti after the earthquake) and tourism.
KeywordsMarine Mammal Necrotizing Fasciitis Bottlenose Dolphin Enteric Virus Foodborne Disease
Exogenous, alien or nonindigenous; arising from another source or medium.
Being of the surrounding area or environment.
One of three domains on Earth, including the Bacteria and Eukarya. Archaea are prokaryotes that do not have peptidoglycan cell walls; they lack membrane-bound organelles (e.g., nucleus, mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, chloroplasts), possess 70 S ribosomes and have ether-linked lipids in their membranes.
Indigenous, native, arising from within.
One of three domains on Earth, including the Archaea and Eukarya. Bacteria are prokaryotes that possess peptidoglycan cell walls; they lack membrane-bound organelles (e.g., nucleus, mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, chloroplasts), possess 70 S ribosomes and have ester-linked lipids in their membranes.
The richness or complexity of life forms in an ecosystem, biome or on Earth itself.
- Commensal organism
An organism participating in a symbiotic relationship in which one species derives some benefit while the other is unaffected.
An organism that controls body temperature through external means.
The lipid component (lipid A) of the outer membrane lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of all gram-negative bacteria. Endotoxin is released into a host or the environment when the cell lyses and its outer membrane breaks up.
The incidence of disease above the normal or endemic incidence.
One of three domains on Earth, including the Bacteria and Archaea. Eukarya possess membrane-bound organelles (e.g., nuclei, mitochondria, chloroplasts), histones associated with their DNA and 80 S ribosomes in their cytoplasm. Plants and animals are eukaryotic.
Any toxin that is secreted into the cell’s immediate environment. Most exotoxins are proteins, and they are made by both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria.
- Facultative organism
An organism that is capable of growth both in the presence and absence of oxygen.
- Foodborne disease
A disease that is caused by the ingestion of pathogens conveyed by food.
- Food intoxication
Illness caused by the ingestion of food that contains a toxic substance.
A proteolytic enzyme that lyses red blood cells.
- Lysogenic conversion
Insertion of bacterial virus (bacteriophage) DNA into the chromosomal DNA of its bacterial host thereby conferring one or more new traits on the host.
Infections (and disease) that are acquired in clinical settings (e.g., hospitals, outpatient clinics, emergency rooms, physician offices).
- Opportunistic pathogen
Any pathogen that accidently acquires entrance to a host and then only causes disease if one or more risk factors are present in the host.
An epidemic of world-wide proportions.
The production or development of a disease, specifically the cellular reactions and other pathologic mechanisms occurring in the progression of the disease.
The ability of a species to cause disease. However, because pathogenesis is typically caused by one or more than one virulence factors produced by one or more genes, any given pathogenic species will often display different degrees of pathogenesis.
- Pathogenicity island
A cluster of virulence genes (and sometimes cryptic genes and other small genetic elements) flanked by direct repeats, insertion sequences or tRNA genes such that the clusters are easily transmitted to other bacteria via a process called horizontal gene transfer.
A circular, double-stranded DNA molecule containing specialty genes that, in general, are not essential for survival of the host bacterium or genes that are cryptic (unknown). Plasmids can replicate autonomously or integrate into and replicate with the chromosome. Plasmids are smaller than the chromosome, on average 5% the size of the chromosome.
- Point source
A single, identifiable localized source of something.
- Quorum sensing
A chemical mechanism used by bacteria to measure their population density. When the chemical signals reach a certain level, special genes are expressed.
An indicator whose presence is directly related to a particular quality in its environment at a given location.
The order of nucleotides in a specific length of DNA or RNA.
The degree of pathogenicity. Virulence is a compilation of toxins, hemolysins, proteases and lipases that may not be possessed by all strains of a pathogenic species.
- Waterborne disease
A disease that is transmitted by water.
An animal disease transmissible to humans under natural conditions or a human disease transmissible to animals.
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