E coli O157:H7
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  E coli O157:H7



E coli O157:H7

   "A dangerous form of Escherichia coli, the colon bacillus, a bacterium that normally lives in the human colon. E. coli 0157:H7 is a major health problem, causing hemorrhagic colitis, the hemolytic-uremic syndrome, and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura: Hemorrhagic colitis -- E coli O157:H7 causes about 20,000 cases of hemorrhagic colitis (bloody inflammation of the colon) a year in the US. The bacteria produce toxins that can damage the lining of the intestine. The colitis caused can be quite severe with painful abdominal cramps, diarrhea and grossly visible blood in the stool, lasting for 6 to 8 days. Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) -- Some children infected with E. coli 0157:H7 develop the hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). Hemolytic"" refers to the breakup of red blood cells. This leads to anemia and a shortage of platelets (thrombocytopenia) which causes abnormal bleeding. ""Uremic"" refers to the acute kidney failure. Central nervous system problems with seizures and coma can also occur. The hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) is the most common cause of acute kidney failure in infants and young children. Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) -- Persons who get E. coli 0157:H7, particularly the elderly, can develop a syndrome similar to HUS called thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) with anemia due to fragmentation of red blood cells, shortage of platelets (thrombocytopenia) with easy bruising, neurologic abnormalities, impaired kidney function, and fever.

RELATED TERMS
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Escherichia
A genus of gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped bacteria whose organisms occur in the lower part of the intestine of warm-blooded animals. The species are either nonpathogenic or opportunistic pathogens.

Colon
Another name for the large intestine. The section of the large intestine extending from the cecum to the rectum. An adult colon is approximately five to six feet in length and is responsible for absorbing water and forming, storing and expelling waste.

Bacillus
A large family of bacteria that have a rod-like shape. They include the bacteria that cause food to spoil, and also those responsible for some types of diseases. Helpful members of the bacillus family are used to make antibiotics, or colonize the human intestinal tract and aid with digestion.

Bacterium
The singular of bacteria.

Health
The state of the organism when it functions optimally without evidence of disease.

Colitis
Inflammation of the large intestine (colon), especially of its mucous membranes. Spastic colitis is commonly "nervous," or psychosomatic, in origin and is usually a temporary upset rather than a chronic inflammation; this disorder may account for 50 percent of all digestive-tract illnesses. Its symptoms are abdominal pain, diarrhea (sometimes alternating with constipation), and erratic frequency of bowel movements. Treatment of this disorder is basically supportive and psychological in approach.

Syndrome
A grouping of signs and symptoms, based on their frequent co-occurrence, that may suggest a common underlying pathogenesis, course, familial pattern, or treatment selection.

Purpura
A hemorraghic disease characterized by extravasation of blood into the tissues producing spontaneous ecchymoses and petechiae.

Inflammation
A reaction to an injury to the body - by infection, chemicals or physical agents. The symptoms can be - depending on the location of the injury- redness, swelling, heat and pain. The purpose of the inflammation is to dilute and destroy the agent causing the inflammation. To do this, the immune system starts a cascade of actions that causes active cells to gather at the affected location. It is these cells and fluids that cause the redness, swelling, heat and pain.

Bacteria
Single-celled microorganisms which can exist either as independent (free-living) organisms or as parasites (dependent upon another organism for life).

Intestine
The tube involved in digestion and extending from the stomach to the anus. Consists of the small intestine and the large intestine.

Abdominal
Relating to the abdomen, the belly, that part of the body that contains all of the structures between the chest and the pelvis. The abdomen is separated anatomically from the chest by the diaphragm, the powerful muscle spanning the body cavity below the lungs. The abdomen includes a host of organs including the stomach, small intestine, colon, rectum, liver, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, appendix, gallbladder, and bladder. The word "abdomen" has a curious story behind it. It comes from the Latin "abdodere", to hide. The idea was that whatever was eaten was hidden in the abdomen.

Diarrhea
Passage of excessively liquid or excessively frequent stools.

Blood
The life-maintaining fluid which is made up of plasma, red blood cells (erythrocytes), white blood cells (leukocytes), and platelets; blood circulates through the body's heart, arteries, veins, and capillaries; it carries away waste matter and carbon dioxide, and brings nourishment, electrolytes, hormones, vitamins, antibodies, heat, and oxygen to the tissues.

Stool
The solid wastes that pass through the rectum as bowel movements. Stools are undigested foods, bacteria, mucus, and dead cells. Also called feces.

Anemia
Anemia is a condition in which a deficiency in the size or number of erythrocytes (red blood cells) or the amount of hemoglobin they contain limits the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the blood and the tissue cells. Most anemias are caused by a lack of nutrients required for normal erythrocyte synthesis, principally iron, vitamin B-12, and folic acid. Others result from a variety of conditions, such as hemorrhage, genetic abnormalities, chronic disease states or drug toxicity.

Platelets
Cells found in the blood.

Abnormal
Not normal. Deviating from the usual structure, position, condition, or behavior. In referring to a growth, abnormal may mean that it is cancerous or premalignant (likely to become cancer).

Acute
1. Of short course. 2. Severe, but of a short duration. Not chronic.

Kidney
One of the paired organs that excrete urine. The kidneys are bean-shaped organs (about 11 cm long, 5 cm wide, and 3 cm thick) lying on either side of the vertebral column, posterior to the peritoneum, about opposite the twelfth thoracic and first three lumbar vertebrae.

Central
In anatomy and medicine (as elsewhere), central is the opposite of "peripheral" which means away from the center.

Coma
A sleep-like state; not conscious. May be due to a high or low level of glucose (sugar) in the blood.

Infants
A child between 1 and 23 months of age.

Elderly
A person 65 through 79 years of age. For a person older than 79 years, AGED, 80 AND OVER is available.

Fragmentation
Separation into different parts, or preventing their integration, or detaching one or more parts from the rest. A fear of fragmentation of the personality, also known as disintegration anxiety, is often observed in patients whenever they are exposed to repetitions of earlier experiences that interfered with development of the self. This fear may be expressed as feelings of falling apart, as a loss of identity, or as a fear of impending loss of one's vitality and of psychological depletion.

Fever
When body temperature rises above its normal level - defined as 98.6 degrees F, though it varies by individual and time of day. A fever is the sign of an immune system at work and usually indicates an infection.



SIMILAR TERMS
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E coli
Short for Escherichia coli, the colon bacillus, a bacterium that normally resides in the human colon. E. coli has been studied intensively in genetics and molecular and cell biology because of its availability, its small genome size, its normal lack of pathogenicity (disease-causing ability), and its ease of growth in the laboratory. Most strains of E coli are quite harmless. However, some strains of E. coli are capable of causing disease, sometimes disease of deadly proportions. For example, an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 bacteria in the water supply hit Walkerton, Ontario in the year 2000; the E. coli affected about 2,000 people in and around Walkerton and were responsible for the deaths of some 18 people.

E coli hemorrhagic diarrhea
Bloody colitis (inflammation of the bowel) caused by E. coli, usually by the strain E. coli 0157:H7. The diarrhea is severe with painful abdominal cramps, gross blood in the stool, and lasts for 6 to 8 days. Most commonly, E. coli 01257:H7 comes from eating raw or undercooked ground beef (hamburger) or from drinking raw milk or contaminated water. Less commonly, E coli O157:H7 can be transmitted from one person to another.



PREVIOUS AND NEXT TERMS
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Erythrocyte (red blood cell, red cell, red corpuscle)
Red blood cell that delivers oxygen to tissues and removes carbon dioxide and other waste products.

Essential Fatty Acid
A type of fatty acid that the body cannot produce and which must be obtained from food; play a role in recovery after surgery, the making of cell membranes, and prevention of infection.

Exercise Stress Test
A test used to provide information about how the heart responds to stress. It usually involves walking on a treadmill or pedaling a stationary bike at increasing levels of difficulty, while the electrocardiogram, heart rate and blood pressure are monitored. When one is not able to do activity, medications may be used to "stress" the heart. This is called a pharmacological stress test.

E coli
Short for Escherichia coli, the colon bacillus, a bacterium that normally resides in the human colon. E. coli has been studied intensively in genetics and molecular and cell biology because of its availability, its small genome size, its normal lack of pathogenicity (disease-causing ability), and its ease of growth in the laboratory. Most strains of E coli are quite harmless. However, some strains of E. coli are capable of causing disease, sometimes disease of deadly proportions. For example, an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 bacteria in the water supply hit Walkerton, Ontario in the year 2000; the E. coli affected about 2,000 people in and around Walkerton and were responsible for the deaths of some 18 people.

E coli hemorrhagic diarrhea
Bloody colitis (inflammation of the bowel) caused by E. coli, usually by the strain E. coli 0157:H7. The diarrhea is severe with painful abdominal cramps, gross blood in the stool, and lasts for 6 to 8 days. Most commonly, E. coli 01257:H7 comes from eating raw or undercooked ground beef (hamburger) or from drinking raw milk or contaminated water. Less commonly, E coli O157:H7 can be transmitted from one person to another.

E coli O157:H7

E2F3
E2F transcription factor 3. E2F3 is a gene on chromosome 6p22 that is a member of the E2F family of transcription factors. E2F3 may be a key gene in modulating the aggressivity of prostate cancer. E2F3 is present in a high proportion (67%) of prostate cancers. Men with prostate cancer exhibiting detectable E2F3 expression have poorer survival than those without detectable E2F3 expression.

Eagle syndrome
Inflammation of the styloid process, a spike-like projection sticking off the base of the skull. The tissues in the throat rub on this structure during the act of swallowing causing pain. The diagnosis of Eagle syndrome is made by history and an x-ray showing the abnormal styloid process. Anti-inflammatory drugs are the first line of treatment although surgical removal of the styloid process may be needed.

Ear
The hearing organ. There are three sections of the ear, according to the anatomy textbooks. They are the outer ear (the part we see along the sides of our head behind the temples), the middle ear, and the inner ear. But in terms of function, the ear has four parts: those three and the brain. Hearing thus involves all parts of the ear as well as the auditory cortex of the brain. The external ear helps concentrate the vibrations of air on the ear drum and make it vibrate. These vibrations are transmitted by a chain of little bones in the middle ear to the inner ear. There they stimulate the fibers of the auditory nerve to transmit impulses to the brain.

Ear bones
The malleus, incus, and stapes.

Ear canal, self-cleaning
Most of the time the ear canals are self-cleaning, that is, there is a slow and orderly migration of ear canal skin from the eardrum to the outer opening. Old earwax is constantly being transported from the deeper areas of the ear canal to the opening where it usually dries, flakes, and falls out.

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