Mucosal Information and Courses from MediaLab, Inc.
These are the MediaLab courses that cover Mucosal and links to relevant pages within the course.
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Cunningham MW.: Pathogenesis of group A streptococcal infections. Clinical Microbiology Reviews. 13):470-511, 2000 Group A streptococci are model extracellular gram-positive pathogens responsible for pharyngitis, impetigo, rheumatic fever, and acute glomerulonephritis. A resurgence of invasive streptococcal diseases and rheumatic fever has appeared in outbreaks over the past 10 years, with a predominant M1 serotype as well as others identified with the outbreaks. Emm (M protein) gene sequencing has changed serotyping, and new virulence genes and new virulence regulatory networks have been defined. The emm gene superfamily has expanded to include antiphagocytic molecules and immunoglobulin-binding proteins with common structural features. At least nine superantigens have been characterized, all of which may contribute to toxic streptococcal syndrome. An emerging theme is the dichotomy between skin and throat strains in their epidemiology and genetic makeup. Eleven adhesions have been reported, and surface plasmin-binding proteins have been defined. The strong resistance of the group A streptococcus to phagocytosis is related to factor H and fibrinogen binding by M protein and to disarming complement component C5a by the C5a peptidase. Molecular mimicry appears to play a role in autoimmune mechanisms involved in rheumatic fever, while nephritis strain-associated proteins may lead to immune-mediated acute glomerulonephritis. Vaccine strategies have focused on recombinant M protein and C5a peptidase vaccines, and mucosal vaccine delivery systems are under investigation.
|Iron Intake and Recycling|
The typical daily diet of most Americans contains approximately 10 to 15 mg of iron. Sources of dietary iron include heme iron from meats and nonheme iron from whole grains and vegetables. Many processed foods, such as breakfast cereal, are fortified with iron. However, the normal individual absorbs only 5% to 15% of dietary iron, or about 1 to 2 mg daily. Females may absorb slightly more iron than males as they require more iron to replace that lost through menstruation and to meet the increased need for iron in pregnancy.Absorption of iron occurs through the mucosal cells in the duodenum (proximal small intestine). Dietary iron that is not absorbed is excreted in the feces. Intestinal absorption provides the means for regulating the amount of iron in the body.The amount of Iron absorbed is normally low because iron is well conserved within the body. Heme iron from senescent erythrocytes is cycled back into the iron pool and reused for incorporation into developing erythrocytes. Furthermore, iron is normally lost from the body only in very small amounts, primarily through desquamation of mucosal cells in the gastrointestinal tract and losses through body secretions, including urine, sweat and feces. Therefore, under normal conditions, very little dietary iron needs to be absorbed to maintain iron homeostasis.(3)
|Regulation of Iron Equilibrium|
Regulation of iron equilibrium occurs mainly through the process of absorption. Iron is absorbed through the mucosal cells lining the duodenum. A variety of proteins are involved in this process. Hepcidin, an antimicrobial protein primarily produced in the liver, has been recently found to be a major (negative) regulator of dietary iron absorption by disrupting cellular iron transport in the intestine. Decreased levels of hepcidin are related to increased iron absorption into the bloodstream. Hepcidin is increased in response to iron overload and inflammation. (4)Additional proteins involved in iron metabolism include transferrin (Tf), transferrin receptor (TfR), ferroportin, HFE protein, hemojuvelin, and others. Their roles in iron absorption are complex and in some instances incompletely understood.Factors affecting iron absorption include: Tissue stores, e.g., decreased stored iron is associated with a decrease in hepcidin and increase in iron absorption. Rate of hematopoietic activity, e.g., an increased rate of erythropoiesis is associated with a decrease in hepcidin and an increase in iron absorption. Oxygen concentration in tissues, e.g., hypoxia decreases hepcidin and increases iron absorption, thereby promoting increased erythopoiesis. Dietary intake, including form of iron ingested, e.g., heme iron is more readily absorbed than non-heme forms of iron. Condition of GI tract mucosal cells Intraluminal factors, e.g. intestinal motility
Once absorbed through the mucosal cells of the duodenum, iron is bound to a carrier plasma protein, transferrin (Tf), for movement to sites of utilization. Almost all iron in plasma is bound to Tf, and most Tf-bound iron is carried to the bone marrow to be incorporated into developing erythrocytes. Transferrin is normally about 20% to 40% saturated with iron. (5)Transferrin releases iron to specific transferrin receptors (TfRs) for movement into cells. Transferrin receptors are found on all cells, but are found in relatively high concentration in erythroid precursors, hepatocytes, and placental cells. When the capacity of plasma Tf to bind iron is exceeded, i.e., transferrin saturation (TS) is higher than normal, excess iron is taken up by hepatocytes and other cells. A brief summary of iron metabolism is illustrated.
Another organism that has more recently become problematic is Clostridium difficile. Usually, normal gut flora resist overgrowth and colonization by this organism. However, antibiotic use that suppresses the normal gut flora, allows proliferation of C. difficile. The organism releases toxins that cause inflammation and damage to the mucosal lining of the colon, leading to severe diarrhea. An antibiotic-resistant strain has developed that can result in colitis, sepsis, and death. Elderly patients, patients with severe underlying illness, and patients undergoing immunosuppressive therapy are at higher risk of becoming infected since their immune response to the bacteria and its toxins is diminished.
Staphylococci are non-motile, non-spore-forming, gram-positive organisms occurring singly, in pairs, tetrads or in clusters resembling grapes. More than 20 species have been identified; three species are significant in their interactions with humans - S. aureus, S. epidermidis and S. saprophyticus.The staphylococci are members of the normal flora of the skin and mucous membranes of humans and warm-blooded animals. Colonization of the nares (nostrils) and skin can provide large reservoirs of organisms for transmission. Approximately 25-30% of the general population are colonized by Staphylococcus aureus, mainly in the nasal passages, but the organism can be found in most anatomical sites including the skin, oral cavity and GI tract.Infections are frequently acquired when the colonizing strain gains access to a normally sterile site as a result of trauma or abrasion to skin or mucosal surface. S. aureus infections range from superficial, localized skin infections, such as folliculitis, to deeper, more serious skin lesions and the more serious toxin mediated conditions – scalded skin syndrome and toxic shock syndrome.
|Oral candidiasis may be directly exasperated by the habitual ingestion of:||View Page|