Home / Health / Scientists warn that diphtheria is on the rise, it could once again become a major global threat.

Scientists warn that diphtheria is on the rise, it could once again become a major global threat.



A doctor who treated a child with diphtheria in the Bangladeshi city of Thankhali in 201<div class="e3lan e3lan-in-post1"></div>8, though still rare.  But cases of vaccine preventable disease have skyrocketed in recent years.

A doctor who treated a child with diphtheria in the Bangladeshi city of Thankhali in 2018, though still rare. But cases of vaccine preventable disease have skyrocketed in recent years.
Photograph: A. Munir Uz Zaman / AFP (Getty Images)

An infectious disease that was almost vanquished appeared to be making a comeback. In a new report this week, scientists warn that cases of diphtheria have gradually increased over the past few years, while there are signs that antibiotics and preventive vaccines are available. bacteria It may be in danger of losing the ability to infect pathogens. Continue To develop.

diphtheria Caused by certain strains of bacteria Corynebacterium diphtheriaeMost of it spreads through respiratory droplets. and, Rarely through skin contact with infected wounds. The cause of attacking these bacteria is not usually the infection itself. But from the toxins they can produceArly symptoms include a sore throat and a mild fever. Within days, the toxin can kill enough cells in the neck to cause cervical disease.The accumulation of dead debris makes it difficult for the victim to breathe. In addition, patients can also develop a swollen “cow neck” caused by enlarged lymph nodes. Left untreated, the toxin can seep into the bloodstream and other organs, causing massive internal damage that kills about half the victims.

Although diphtheria has killed people for centuries. But the emergence of highly effective antitoxin, antibiotic and vaccine in the first half of the 20th century caused it to be largely destroyed from 1980 to 2000 after the World Health Organization pushed for it. There was a universal vaccination for children in the 1970s. Incidence Of the new diphtheria cases, the yearly decline is more than 90%. Currently, approximately 85% of the world population. Had been vaccinated against diphtheria and the disease was almost extinct in many ways. Countries including U.S.

There are still pockets of the world where access to effective treatments and vaccines are increasingly limited.However, the incidence of diphtheria is gradually increasing.New study Published Monday in Nature Communications Scientists say there is enough evidence that diphtheria bacteria are vulnerable to genetic changes to reduce the effectiveness of the antibiotics and vaccines used on them.

The study, which involved researchers from the UK, India and the World Health Organization, looked at the genetic diversity of these bacteria. (Both toxic and non-toxic strains) over the past century, with samples collected from patients in 16 countries.This includes India, where the majority of the world’s diphtheria cases occur every year.They use this information to chart the evolution of these bacteria over time.

There is a sign that Researchers have found that bacteria are beginning to adapt to our weapons. They found that the average antimicrobial resistance of the diphtheria bacteria has significantly increased in the past decade compared to the past decade. A variety of their “toxin” genes, which are responsible for the production of harmful substances. Toxins are also increasing recently.They identified 18 different strains of toxin genes, some of which can alter the underlying structure of the toxin, potentially making existing treatments less effective..

Antibiotic-resistant diphtheria bacteria can too. Making it harder for doctors to treat infections At the same time, the diphtheria vaccine works by training the body to recognize toxins, especially those.How well ny meaningful structural changes can degrade our immune system, including the potency of antitoxin drugs.s.That said, these findings do not show that diphtheria is no longer able to use antibiotics or vaccines. The mutations found in the toxic genes do not seem to affect the efficacy of our current vaccines as there are. There is no evidence of significant drug resistance to the antibiotic used to treat the infection.

The growing diversity of these bacteria suggests that one day it may one day better “learn” how to avoid our vaccines, antibiotics, and antibiotics. And against the backdrop of current trends, that’s certainly relevant.In 2018, more than 16,000 cases of diphtheria were reported worldwide, the single highest annual death count in 22 years.And the year 2019 is still like that. WorseAnd in the past year, a COVID-19 outbreak has hampered efforts to vaccinate diseases like diphtheria.

Even in the worst case scenario, vaccines and antitoxin can be corrected if needed, and there are other antibiotics that doctors can use if needed.The drug for these rare infections is also starting to fail. But researchers warn that we need to continue to study and start preparing for these possibilities before it’s too late, and diphtheria follows a preventable lesion with other vaccines, such as measles that cause it. Horrible recovery Recently.

“[I]It is more important than ever to understand this historically significant disease in order to prevent it from becoming a major global threat again in its original form.


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