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In this assignment I will explain what infections are and how they spread and the conditions they need to grow. There are many ways in which infections can be spread. They can be spread personally by being in contact with another person or they can be air born or can also be spread in many other ways. Germs which can cause infections such as diarrhoea or other infections of the intestinal tract are found in faeces. This occurs when personal hygiene is insufficient, stool may contaminate food, water or hands meaning infection surrounds objects and surfaces and this can be picked up by somebody else.

The easy spread of intestinal infections is due also to the fact that some of the germs now survive on surfaces and objects for longer periods of time. The most effective way to prevent the spread of intestinal infection is proper hand washing. Germs which cause colds and strep throats are found in saliva and the secretions of the nose. Other infections which may be minor such as the eyes nose and throat are more common in young children. Disease such as this can be spread when people cough, sneeze or do anything which spreads droplets of secretions from the respiratory tract that way the germs can spread.

The germs can then be inhaled by somebody else standing near and may land in their mouth, eye or nose causing infection in them. Indirect spread may also occur because some viruses can survive in the environment for days at a time. Because the respiratory viruses can also be found in the nose and throat of children for several days before they show any signs of an illness which is why it’s good to follow good infection control practices at all times. Contact with blood can also spread infection. The skin offers a brilliant barrier when in contact with blood.

Several infections may be spread by contact with blood directly if there’s a break in the skin (blood to blood) or direct contact with mucous. The skin offers a good barrier when in contact with blood. Many infections may be spread by direct contact with blood if theres a break in the skin. Only a small amount of blood or body fluids can cause infections so whenever any amount of blood or bloody body fluids is noticed equipment such as gloves and proper cleaning and disinfection of exposed objects must occur.

Direct physical contact can cause infections, particularly skin infections which may include impetigo and ringworm, these are spread by direct physical contact. For example when children play together and one child touches the infected skin of another child. Another way of spreading infections is contaminated objects suc has toys, towels and even food and water. Its very important that all objects are properly cleaned and sanitized regually and all food and water is from approved sources. Colonisation describes the presence of microbes on or in the body, growing and multiplying without invading the surrounding tissues.

For example the bacteria the causes MRSA often lives harmlessly on the skin and in the noses of people without causing any harm at all. Localised infection is confined to one specific area and will therefore only affect one part of the body. The difference between localised and systematic infection is that localized infections develop only in one place of the body while systemic infections spread all through the body by the bloodstream. Examples of systethic infection are tonsillitis, influenza, malaria, chicken pox. Symptoms include, fever, chills, weakness, aching, joints.

Normal flora is very important to be there as it prevents pathogens from colonising the body, as pathogens prefer to grow where there are no other pathogens to compete with. The amount of flora discourages pathogens to multiply. An example of this is the flora on your intestines as it helps you digest food and stops pathogens invading. There may be a problem when normal flora finds its way into parts of the body where it normally isn’t. if flora from the gut got into the vagina it could cause infection and could be irritable. Pathogenic micro-organisms are transient, meaning they can transfer from one person to another.

And they can not grow unless they have suitable conditions to grow in and reproduce. There are many conditions needed for growth and reproduction, this could include tempreture. Most pathogens which are associated with humans grow very fast around body temperature. Some can multiply at low tempretures and can spoil food, such as listeria. Pathogens also need oxgygen as most use respitation to produce energy meaning they can grow successfully in oxygen. Anaerobic pathogens can survive without oxygen. Moisture is very essential for the growth of bacteria and most will die rapidly if it is not there.

This can provide us with a useful infection control measure and we can stop pathogens from multiplying by keeping surfaces clean and dry. Some yeasts, fungi and moulds can grow in dry conditions. Bacteria need carbohydrates and protein to grow and can obtain this from foods including meat, eggs, fish, cheese, milk and cooked rice. Places on the body have suitable food such as the mouth are suitable for them to grow. They need a suitable pH aswell. As most pathogens prefer to grow in pH neautral conditions and they need time to grow.

Many of the body cavities are protected against invasion due to a high pH. An example being the stomach due to its acid. Infection can be spread variously; * Food borne infection * Person to person * Water borne infection * Airborne infection * Insect borne infection * Fomites Contamination may occur at any stage of food production, from seed and soil to packaging and cooking. Cross contamination can occur through raw meat. Drinking water could also be contaminated, although in the UK there are hygiene controls to prevent this from happening.

Person-to-person spread of infections can be spread through inhalation of infectious droplets or airborne. Most infections are spread through inhalation of droplets which are infectious like a cold. Pathogenic micro organisms cause waterborne disease and they are directly transmitted when contaminated water is consumed. Contaminated water can be the cause for diseases such as cholera, dysentery, hepatitis A and typhoid. Diseases such as plague can be insect born. Which is where the insects feed of infected animals and transmit the infection to people. E. g mosquitos.

Fomites are any inanimate object which is capable of carrying pathogens this may be mops or foor handles in example. This is of particular importance in hospital hygiene. Pathogenic organisms and disease Micro organisms can be catogorised in groups such as bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses. This is a bacteria structure. They reproduce by a process known as binary fission and each bacterium divides into two which produce two clone daughters. This process occurs every ten minutes. Bacteria can be spread in various ways; * Airborne by droplet infection through coughing or sneezing.

* Direct contact by touching infected person. * Indirect contact by toughing an object an infected person has touched. * Touching food with dirty hands. * Bodily fluids, saliva, blood, semen. Some examples of bacterial infections would be bacterial meningitis, eye infections, and sinusitis. There are some viruses which can live up to many years inside host cells and not cause any harm. An example of this is somebody with HIV can live without showeing symptoms of AIDS for years, but can still spread the virus. Viruses can also be spread in various ways including; * Carrier organisms – mosquitoes, fleas.

* Airborne infection, coughs, sneezing etc. * Direct transfer of body fluids from one person to another – saliva, sweat, nasal mucus, blood, semen, vaginal secretions * Surfaces on which body fluids have dried An example of transfer of viruses is if somebody sneezed on you and you inhaled it. Fungi are multi celled organisms that include yeasts, moulds, mildew, mushrooms. They reproduce by budding, a process where a protrusion from a cell becomes free. Fungal infections like warm, moist conditions such as the mouth, armpits, vagina and other skin folds this is where they grow.

By breaking down dead organic material, they continue the cycle of nutrients through ecosystems. In addition, most vascular plants could not grow without the symbiotic fungi, or mycorrhizae, that inhabit their roots and supply essential nutrients. Other fungi provide numerous drugs (such as penicillin and other antibiotics), foods like mushrooms, truffles and morels, and the bubbles in bread, champagne, and beer. Fungi also cause a number of plant and animal diseases: in humans, ringworm, athlete’s foot, and several more serious diseases are caused by fungi.

Because fungi are more chemically and genetically similar to animals than other organisms, this makes fungal diseases very difficult to treat. Plant diseases caused by fungi include rusts, smuts, and leaf, root, and stem rots, and may cause severe damage to crops. However, a number of fungi, in particular the yeasts, are important “model organisms” for studying problems in genetics and molecular biology. A parasite is a plant or animal that lives on another or in another organism in order to gain its nourishment and continued survival. A parasite lives in a close relationship with another organism, its host, and causes it harm.

The parasite is dependent on its host for its life functions. For example, viruses are common parasites. The parasite has to be in its host to live, grow, and multiply. Parasites rarely kill their hosts. A common, well-known type of a parasite is a hookworm. It is possible for humans or their pets to get them. Hookworms attach themselves in the lining of the small intestine, and cause diseases, and malnutrition as well, as they eat the nutrients and keep them from going to the host. In this assignment I have explained what infections are how they spread and the conditions they need to grow.

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