Meningococcal infection Causative Agent: What is the causative agent of the disease? Is it a bacterium, a virus, a prion, or a eukaryote? If it is a bacterium, what are the characteristics of the cell? (Gram-reaction, cell shape and arrangement, metabolic capabilities, etc.). If it is a virus, what are its characteristics? (DNA virus, positive-strand RNA virus, negative-strand RNA virus, or retrovirus? Enveloped or naked? How large is it? Provirus formation? Are there any unique characteristics of its multiplication cycle?). If it is a prion, what is a prion? Where in the body does it occur? What is the function of the normal-type protein? If it is a eukaryote, is it a fungus, an alga, a protozoan, a platyhelminth, or a nematode? Is it multicellular or unicellular? What is its life cycle? History: How long have we known about this disease? Historically, how was this disease treated? What is the history of vaccine development? Describe the changes in our knowledge and attitudes toward this disease throughout history. Epidemiology: Describe the prevalence and transmission of this disease. Where (in the world) is the disease prevalent? How many people are currently infected? What is the rate of new infections? What are the rates of morbidity and mortality? What is (are) the reservoir(s) of the pathogen? What is (are) the mode(s) of transmission? Pathology: Describe the pathogenic effects on cells, tissues, and organ systems. What tissues/organs/cells does the pathogen affect? What damage does the pathogen inflict? How is this damage inflicted? (Is there direct mechanical damage? Is a toxin produced? Does the immune response cause damage?). What is the time sequence of the disease (length of incubation, prodrome, illness, decline, and convalescence)? What are the major signs and symptoms? Response and Treatment. Describe the activity of our immune system against the pathogen. Cell mediated immunity? Humoral mediated immunity? Innate Immunity? Acquired immunity? How is the disease diagnosed? What types of medical treatments exist? Describe how these treatments affect the progression of the disease. Antibiotic resistant strains? Describe prophylactic measures that can be taken to limit the risk of infection. Socio-politico-economic Considerations. Describe any historic or present-day social, economic, or political issues that either help or hinder us in limiting the spread of the disease. What is the cost of treatment? Suggest policies and practices that can be employed to help with limiting the spread of the disease. For each policy and practice, describe what will be needed (what we have to sacrifice) in order to properly implement the proposal.
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