Health & Legionnaires Disease

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Treatment of legionnaires disease like for most bacterial infections is by use of antibiotics. Bacteria unlike human beings, the host contain a cell wall alongside the cell membrane thus the mode of action implicated by antibiotics thus target the disruption of the cell wall in the bacteria. A wide range of antibiotics are preferred including erythromycin /tetracycline.

Treatment is best achieved with antibiotics that target the intracellular components in the bacteria and thus cases of resistance to some antibiotics restricted to the cell wall have been reported, such antibiotics include the most known beta –lactams that are responsible for the destruction of the peptidoglycan chains in the bacterial cell wall but do not cross to the intracellular components (Marie 511). Alongside erythromycin, other powerful antibiotics commonly used are macrolides e. g. clarithromycin and azithromycin.

The two are preferred because of their ability to cross the cell wall, increased bioavailability with oral administration and advanced pharmacokinetics (Gobrach et al 527). Since most cases are nasocomial, proper surveillance of hospital water systems should be advocated. This helps in the decontamination of the water systems especially by use of biocides, increasing temperatures to high than 70 degrees Celsius as most of the bacteria are not thermophillic hence destroyed at extremely high temperature.

The spread and manifestation of the disease and its consequences occur rapidly. Though prevention measures as illustrated may seem easy, its saddening that most cheaply available mode of decontamination such as chlorination may not be effective since legionella happens to be resistant to low concentrations of chlorine and thus only hyper chlorinated solutions can be effective thus its everyone’s responsibility to ensure that stringent measures that can stop the spread of the disease are taken (Block 506).

Though it has not been established whether there is a possibility of a person to another transmission, cases of death occur with an estimated 15 % in most of the US although many cases are never reported to the department of health. It’s surprising that the disease happens to have a higher preference to the male sex. This can only be attributed to smoking which is another predisposing factor as there are more male smokers than females in most of the western population.

Other predisposing factors include old age, pulmonary diseases, transplantations, prolonged use of immunosuppressant, malignancies in the case of tumors and chronic renal failures. It has also been established that the risk is increased in the case of immune compromised individuals especially in the case of HIV. With knowledge on the causes, the predisposing risk factors, the symptoms, therapy and preventive measures legionnaires disease can be contained.

Works cited;

Cunha, Burke A. Infectious Disease Pearls. Elsevier Health Science Publishers, 1999. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Professional Guide to Diseases. 9th Edition, Lippincott & Wilkins Publishers, 2008. Thomas J Marie. Community Acquired Pneumonia. Springer Publishers, 2001. Gobrach S. L. , et al. Infectious Diseases. Third Edition. Lippincott and Wilkins, 2003. Block S. S. Disinfection, Sterilization and Preservation, 5th Edition. Lippincott and Wilkins Publishers, 2001.

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