Hearing, or auditory perception, is the ability to perceive sounds by detecting vibrations, changes in the pressure of the surrounding medium through time, through an organ such as the ear. The academic field concerned with hearing is auditory science. Sound may be heard through liquid, or gaseous matter, it is one of the traditional five senses. In humans and other vertebrates, hearing is performed by the auditory system: mechanical waves, known as vibrations are detected by the ear and transduced into nerve impulses that are perceived by the brain. Like touch, audition requires sensitivity to the movement of molecules in the world outside the organism. Both hearing and touch are types of mechanosensation. There are three main components of the human ear: the outer ear, the middle ear, the inner ear; the outer ear includes the pinna, the visible part of the ear, as well as the ear canal which terminates at the eardrum called the tympanic membrane. The pinna serves to focus sound waves through the ear canal toward the eardrum.
Because of the asymmetrical character of the outer ear of most mammals, sound is filtered differently on its way into the ear depending on what vertical location it is coming from. This gives these animals the ability to localize sound vertically; the eardrum is an airtight membrane, when sound waves arrive there, they cause it to vibrate following the waveform of the sound. The middle ear consists of a small air-filled chamber, located medial to the eardrum. Within this chamber are the three smallest bones in the body, known collectively as the ossicles which include the malleus and stapes, they aid in the transmission of the vibrations from the eardrum into the cochlea. The purpose of the middle ear ossicles is to overcome the impedance mismatch between air waves and cochlear waves, by providing impedance matching. Located in the middle ear are the stapedius muscle and tensor tympani muscle, which protect the hearing mechanism through a stiffening reflex; the stapes transmits sound waves to the inner ear through the oval window, a flexible membrane separating the air-filled middle ear from the fluid-filled inner ear.
The round window, another flexible membrane, allows for the smooth displacement of the inner ear fluid caused by the entering sound waves. The inner ear consists of the cochlea, a spiral-shaped, fluid-filled tube, it is divided lengthwise by the organ of Corti, the main organ of mechanical to neural transduction. Inside the organ of Corti is the basilar membrane, a structure that vibrates when waves from the middle ear propagate through the cochlear fluid – endolymph; the basilar membrane is tonotopic, so that each frequency has a characteristic place of resonance along it. Characteristic frequencies are high at the basal entrance to the cochlea, low at the apex. Basilar membrane motion causes depolarization of the hair cells, specialized auditory receptors located within the organ of Corti. While the hair cells do not produce action potentials themselves, they release neurotransmitter at synapses with the fibers of the auditory nerve, which does produce action potentials. In this way, the patterns of oscillations on the basilar membrane are converted to spatiotemporal patterns of firings which transmit information about the sound to the brainstem.
The sound information from the cochlea travels via the auditory nerve to the cochlear nucleus in the brainstem. From there, the signals are projected to the inferior colliculus in the midbrain tectum; the inferior colliculus integrates auditory input with limited input from other parts of the brain and is involved in subconscious reflexes such as the auditory startle response. The inferior colliculus in turn projects to the medial geniculate nucleus, a part of the thalamus where sound information is relayed to the primary auditory cortex in the temporal lobe. Sound is believed to first become consciously experienced at the primary auditory cortex. Around the primary auditory cortex lies Wernickes area, a cortical area involved in interpreting sounds, necessary to understand spoken words. Disturbances at any of these levels can cause hearing problems if the disturbance is bilateral. In some instances it can lead to auditory hallucinations or more complex difficulties in perceiving sound. Hearing can be measured by behavioral tests using an audiometer.
Electrophysiological tests of hearing can provide accurate measurements of hearing thresholds in unconscious subjects. Such tests include auditory brainstem evoked potentials, otoacoustic emissions and electrocochleography. Technical advances in these tests have allowed hearing screening for infants to become widespread; the hearing structures of many species have defense mechanisms against injury. For example, the muscles of the middle ear in many mammals contract reflexively in reaction to loud sounds which may otherwise injure the hearing ability of the organism. There are several different types of hearing loss: Conductive hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss and mixed types. Conductive hearing loss Sensorineural hearing loss Mixed hearing lossThere are defined degrees of hearing loss: Mild hearing loss - People with mild hearing loss have difficulties keeping up with conversations in noisy surroundings; the most quiet sounds that people with mild hearing loss can hear with their better ear are between 25 and 40 dB HL.
Moderate hearing loss - People with moderate hearing loss have difficulty keeping up with conversations when they are not using a hearing aid. On average, the most quiet sounds heard by
Cerebrospinal fluid is a clear, colorless body fluid found in the brain and spinal cord. It is produced by the specialised ependymal cells in the choroid plexuses of the ventricles of the brain, absorbed in the arachnoid granulations. There is about 125mL of CSF at any one time, about 500 mL is generated every day. CSF acts as a cushion or buffer for the brain, providing basic mechanical and immunological protection to the brain inside the skull. CSF serves a vital function in cerebral autoregulation of cerebral blood flow. CSF occupies the subarachnoid space and the ventricular system around and inside the brain and spinal cord, it fills the ventricles of the brain and sulci, as well as the central canal of the spinal cord. There is a connection from the subarachnoid space to the bony labyrinth of the inner ear via the perilymphatic duct where the perilymph is continuous with the cerebrospinal fluid. A sample of CSF can be taken via lumbar puncture; this can reveal the intracranial pressure, as well as indicate diseases including infections of the brain or its surrounding meninges.
Although noted by Hippocrates, it was only in the 18th century that Emanuel Swedenborg is credited with its rediscovery, as late as 1914 that Harvey W. Cushing demonstrated CSF was secreted by the choroid plexus. There is about 125–150 mL of CSF at any one time; this CSF circulates within the ventricular system of the brain. The ventricles are a series of cavities filled with CSF; the majority of CSF is produced from within the two lateral ventricles. From here, CSF passes through the interventricular foramina to the third ventricle the cerebral aqueduct to the fourth ventricle. From the fourth ventricle, the fluid passes into the subarachnoid space through four openings – the central canal of the spinal cord, the median aperture, the two lateral apertures. CSF is present within the subarachnoid space, which covers the brain, spinal cord, stretches below the end of the spinal cord to the sacrum. There is a connection from the subarachnoid space to the bony labyrinth of the inner ear making the cerebrospinal fluid continuous with the perilymph in 93% of people.
CSF moves in a single outward direction from the ventricles, but multidirectionally in the subarachnoid space. Fluid movement is pulsatile, matching the pressure waves generated in blood vessels by the beating of the heart; some authors dispute this, posing that there is no unidirectional CSF circulation, but cardiac cycle-dependent bi-directional systolic-diastolic to-and-fro cranio-spinal CSF movements. CSF is derived from blood plasma and is similar to it, except that CSF is nearly protein-free compared with plasma and has some different electrolyte levels. Due to the way it is produced, CSF has a higher chloride level than plasma, an equivalent sodium level. CSF contains 0.3% plasma proteins, or 15 to 40 mg/dL, depending on sampling site. In general, globular proteins and albumin are in lower concentration in ventricular CSF compared to lumbar or cisternal fluid; this continuous flow into the venous system dilutes the concentration of larger, lipid-insoluble molecules penetrating the brain and CSF.
CSF is free of red blood cells, at most contains only a few white blood cells. Any white blood cell count higher. At around the third week of development, the embryo is a three-layered disc, covered with ectoderm and endoderm. A tube-like formation develops in the midline, called the notochord; the notochord releases extracellular molecules that affect the transformation of the overlying ectoderm into nervous tissue. The neural tube, forming from the ectoderm, contains CSF prior to the development of the choroid plexuses; the open neuropores of the neural tube close after the first month of development, CSF pressure increases. As the brain develops, by the fourth week of embryological development three swellings have formed within the embryo around the canal, near where the head will develop; these swellings represent different components of the central nervous system: the prosencephalon and rhombencephalon. Subarachnoid spaces are first evident around the 32nd day of development near the rhombencephalon.
At this time, the first choroid plexus can be seen, found in the fourth ventricle, although the time at which they first secrete CSF is not yet known. The developing forebrain surrounds the neural cord; as the forebrain develops, the neural cord within it becomes a ventricle forming the lateral ventricles. Along the inner surface of both ventricles, the ventricular wall remains thin, a choroid plexus develops and releasing CSF. CSF fills the neural canal. Arachnoid villi are formed around the 35th week of development, with aracnhoid granulations noted around the 39th, continuing developing until 18 months of age; the subcommissural organ secretes SCO-spondin, which forms Reissner's fiber within CSF assisting movement through the cerebral aqueduct. It disappears during early development. CSF serves several purposes: Buoyancy: The actual mass of the human brain is about 1400–1500 grams; the brain therefore exists in neutral buoyancy, which allows the brain to maintain its density without being impaired by its own weight, which would cut off blood supply and kill neurons in the lower sections without CSF.
Protection: CSF protects the brain tissue from injury when jolted or hit, by providing a fluid buffer that acts as a shock absorber from some forms of mechanical injury. Prevention of brain ischemia: The prevention of brai
Bacteria are a type of biological cell. They constitute a large domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. A few micrometres in length, bacteria have a number of shapes, ranging from spheres to rods and spirals. Bacteria were among the first life forms to appear on Earth, are present in most of its habitats. Bacteria inhabit soil, acidic hot springs, radioactive waste, the deep portions of Earth's crust. Bacteria live in symbiotic and parasitic relationships with plants and animals. Most bacteria have not been characterised, only about half of the bacterial phyla have species that can be grown in the laboratory; the study of bacteria is known as a branch of microbiology. There are 40 million bacterial cells in a gram of soil and a million bacterial cells in a millilitre of fresh water. There are 5×1030 bacteria on Earth, forming a biomass which exceeds that of all plants and animals. Bacteria are vital in many stages of the nutrient cycle by recycling nutrients such as the fixation of nitrogen from the atmosphere.
The nutrient cycle includes the decomposition of dead bodies. In the biological communities surrounding hydrothermal vents and cold seeps, extremophile bacteria provide the nutrients needed to sustain life by converting dissolved compounds, such as hydrogen sulphide and methane, to energy. Data reported by researchers in October 2012 and published in March 2013 suggested that bacteria thrive in the Mariana Trench, with a depth of up to 11 kilometres, is the deepest known part of the oceans. Other researchers reported related studies that microbes thrive inside rocks up to 580 metres below the sea floor under 2.6 kilometres of ocean off the coast of the northwestern United States. According to one of the researchers, "You can find microbes everywhere—they're adaptable to conditions, survive wherever they are."The famous notion that bacterial cells in the human body outnumber human cells by a factor of 10:1 has been debunked. There are 39 trillion bacterial cells in the human microbiota as personified by a "reference" 70 kg male 170 cm tall, whereas there are 30 trillion human cells in the body.
This means that although they do have the upper hand in actual numbers, it is only by 30%, not 900%. The largest number exist in the gut flora, a large number on the skin; the vast majority of the bacteria in the body are rendered harmless by the protective effects of the immune system, though many are beneficial in the gut flora. However several species of bacteria are pathogenic and cause infectious diseases, including cholera, anthrax and bubonic plague; the most common fatal bacterial diseases are respiratory infections, with tuberculosis alone killing about 2 million people per year in sub-Saharan Africa. In developed countries, antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections and are used in farming, making antibiotic resistance a growing problem. In industry, bacteria are important in sewage treatment and the breakdown of oil spills, the production of cheese and yogurt through fermentation, the recovery of gold, palladium and other metals in the mining sector, as well as in biotechnology, the manufacture of antibiotics and other chemicals.
Once regarded as plants constituting the class Schizomycetes, bacteria are now classified as prokaryotes. Unlike cells of animals and other eukaryotes, bacterial cells do not contain a nucleus and harbour membrane-bound organelles. Although the term bacteria traditionally included all prokaryotes, the scientific classification changed after the discovery in the 1990s that prokaryotes consist of two different groups of organisms that evolved from an ancient common ancestor; these evolutionary domains are called Archaea. The word bacteria is the plural of the New Latin bacterium, the latinisation of the Greek βακτήριον, the diminutive of βακτηρία, meaning "staff, cane", because the first ones to be discovered were rod-shaped; the ancestors of modern bacteria were unicellular microorganisms that were the first forms of life to appear on Earth, about 4 billion years ago. For about 3 billion years, most organisms were microscopic, bacteria and archaea were the dominant forms of life. Although bacterial fossils exist, such as stromatolites, their lack of distinctive morphology prevents them from being used to examine the history of bacterial evolution, or to date the time of origin of a particular bacterial species.
However, gene sequences can be used to reconstruct the bacterial phylogeny, these studies indicate that bacteria diverged first from the archaeal/eukaryotic lineage. The most recent common ancestor of bacteria and archaea was a hyperthermophile that lived about 2.5 billion–3.2 billion years ago. Bacteria were involved in the second great evolutionary divergence, that of the archaea and eukaryotes. Here, eukaryotes resulted from the entering of ancient bacteria into endosymbiotic associations with the ancestors of eukaryotic cells, which were themselves related to the Archaea; this involved the engulfment by proto-eukaryotic cells of alphaproteobacterial symbionts to form either mitochondria or hydrogenosomes, which are still found in all known Eukarya. Some eukaryotes that contained mitochondria engulfed cyanobacteria-like organisms, leading to the formation of chloroplasts in algae and plants; this is known as primary endosymbiosis. Bacteria display a wide diversity of sizes, called morphologies.
Bacterial cells are about one-tenth the size of eukaryotic cells
A fungus is any member of the group of eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and molds, as well as the more familiar mushrooms. These organisms are classified as a kingdom, separate from the other eukaryotic life kingdoms of plants and animals. A characteristic that places fungi in a different kingdom from plants and some protists is chitin in their cell walls. Similar to animals, fungi are heterotrophs. Fungi do not photosynthesize. Growth is their means of mobility, except for spores, which may travel through the water. Fungi are the principal decomposers in ecological systems; these and other differences place fungi in a single group of related organisms, named the Eumycota, which share a common ancestor, an interpretation, strongly supported by molecular phylogenetics. This fungal group oomycetes; the discipline of biology devoted to the study of fungi is known as mycology. In the past, mycology was regarded as a branch of botany, although it is now known fungi are genetically more related to animals than to plants.
Abundant worldwide, most fungi are inconspicuous because of the small size of their structures, their cryptic lifestyles in soil or on dead matter. Fungi include symbionts of plants, animals, or other fungi and parasites, they may become noticeable when fruiting, either as molds. Fungi perform an essential role in the decomposition of organic matter and have fundamental roles in nutrient cycling and exchange in the environment, they have long been used in the form of mushrooms and truffles. Since the 1940s, fungi have been used for the production of antibiotics, more various enzymes produced by fungi are used industrially and in detergents. Fungi are used as biological pesticides to control weeds, plant diseases and insect pests. Many species produce bioactive compounds called mycotoxins, such as alkaloids and polyketides, that are toxic to animals including humans; the fruiting structures of a few species contain psychotropic compounds and are consumed recreationally or in traditional spiritual ceremonies.
Fungi can break down manufactured materials and buildings, become significant pathogens of humans and other animals. Losses of crops due to fungal diseases or food spoilage can have a large impact on human food supplies and local economies; the fungus kingdom encompasses an enormous diversity of taxa with varied ecologies, life cycle strategies, morphologies ranging from unicellular aquatic chytrids to large mushrooms. However, little is known of the true biodiversity of Kingdom Fungi, estimated at 2.2 million to 3.8 million species. Of these, only about 120,000 have been described, with over 8,000 species known to be detrimental to plants and at least 300 that can be pathogenic to humans. Since the pioneering 18th and 19th century taxonomical works of Carl Linnaeus, Christian Hendrik Persoon, Elias Magnus Fries, fungi have been classified according to their morphology or physiology. Advances in molecular genetics have opened the way for DNA analysis to be incorporated into taxonomy, which has sometimes challenged the historical groupings based on morphology and other traits.
Phylogenetic studies published in the last decade have helped reshape the classification within Kingdom Fungi, divided into one subkingdom, seven phyla, ten subphyla. The English word fungus is directly adopted from the Latin fungus, used in the writings of Horace and Pliny; this in turn is derived from the Greek word sphongos, which refers to the macroscopic structures and morphology of mushrooms and molds. The word mycology is derived from the Greek logos, it denotes the scientific study of fungi. The Latin adjectival form of "mycology" appeared as early as 1796 in a book on the subject by Christiaan Hendrik Persoon; the word appeared in English as early as 1824 in a book by Robert Kaye Greville. In 1836 the English naturalist Miles Joseph Berkeley's publication The English Flora of Sir James Edward Smith, Vol. 5. Refers to mycology as the study of fungi. A group of all the fungi present in a particular area or geographic region is known as mycobiota, e.g. "the mycobiota of Ireland". Before the introduction of molecular methods for phylogenetic analysis, taxonomists considered fungi to be members of the plant kingdom because of similarities in lifestyle: both fungi and plants are immobile, have similarities in general morphology and growth habitat.
Like plants, fungi grow in soil and, in the case of mushrooms, form conspicuous fruit bodies, which sometimes resemble plants such as mosses. The fungi are now considered a separate kingdom, distinct from both plants and animals, from which they appear to have diverged around one billion years ago; some morphological and genetic features are shared with other organisms, while others are unique to the fungi separating them from the other kingdoms: Shared features: With other euka
In evolutionary biology, parasitism is a relationship between species, where one organism, the parasite, lives on or in another organism, the host, causing it some harm, is adapted structurally to this way of life. The entomologist E. O. Wilson has characterised parasites as "predators that eat prey in units of less than one". Parasites include protozoans such as the agents of malaria, sleeping sickness, amoebic dysentery. There are six major parasitic strategies of exploitation of animal hosts, namely parasitic castration, directly transmitted parasitism, trophically transmitted parasitism, vector-transmitted parasitism and micropredation. Like predation, parasitism is a type of consumer-resource interaction, but unlike predators, with the exception of parasitoids, are much smaller than their hosts, do not kill them, live in or on their hosts for an extended period. Parasites of animals are specialised, reproduce at a faster rate than their hosts. Classic examples include interactions between vertebrate hosts and tapeworms, the malaria-causing Plasmodium species, fleas.
Parasites reduce host fitness by general or specialised pathology, from parasitic castration to modification of host behaviour. Parasites increase their own fitness by exploiting hosts for resources necessary for their survival, in particular by feeding on them and by using intermediate hosts to assist in their transmission from one definitive host to another. Although parasitism is unambiguous, it is part of a spectrum of interactions between species, grading via parasitoidism into predation, through evolution into mutualism, in some fungi, shading into being saprophytic. People have known about parasites such as roundworms and tapeworms since ancient Egypt and Rome. In Early Modern times, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek observed Giardia lamblia in his microscope in 1681, while Francesco Redi described internal and external parasites including sheep liver fluke and ticks. Modern parasitology developed in the 19th century. In human culture, parasitism has negative connotations; these were exploited to satirical effect in Jonathan Swift's 1733 poem "On Poetry: A Rhapsody", comparing poets to hyperparasitical "vermin".
In fiction, Bram Stoker's 1897 Gothic horror novel Dracula and its many adaptations featured a blood-drinking parasite. Ridley Scott's 1979 film Alien was one of many works of science fiction to feature a terrifying parasitic alien species. First used in English in 1539, the word parasite comes from the Medieval French parasite, from the Latin parasitus, the latinisation of the Greek παράσιτος, "one who eats at the table of another" and that from παρά, "beside, by" + σῖτος, "wheat", hence "food"; the related term parasitism appears in English from 1611. Parasitism is a kind of symbiosis, a close and persistent long-term biological interaction between a parasite and its host. Unlike commensalism and mutualism, the parasitic relationship harms the host, either feeding on it or, as in the case of intestinal parasites, consuming some of its food; because parasites interact with other species, they can act as vectors of pathogens, causing disease. Predation is by definition not a symbiosis, as the interaction is brief, but the entomologist E. O. Wilson has characterised parasites as "predators that eat prey in units of less than one".
Within that scope are many possible strategies. Taxonomists classify parasites in a variety of overlapping schemes, based on their interactions with their hosts and on their life-cycles, which are sometimes complex. An obligate parasite depends on the host to complete its life cycle, while a facultative parasite does not. Parasite life-cycles involving only one host are called "direct". An endoparasite lives inside the host's body. Mesoparasites - like some copepods, for example - enter an opening in the host's body and remain embedded there; some parasites can be generalists, feeding on a wide range of hosts, but many parasites, the majority of protozoans and helminths that parasitise animals, are specialists and host-specific. An early basic, functional division of parasites distinguished macroparasites; these each had a mathematical model assigned in order to analyse the population movements of the host–parasite groupings. The microorganisms and viruses that can reproduce and complete their life cycle within the host are known as microparasites.
Macroparasites are the multicellular organisms that reproduce and complete their life cycle outside of the host or on the host's body. Much of the thinking on types of parasitism has focussed on terrestrial animal parasites of animals, such as helminths; those in other environments and with other hosts have analogous strategies. For example, the snubnosed eel is a facultative endoparasite that opportunistically burrows into and eats sick and dying fish. Plant-eating insects such as scale insects and caterpillars resemble ectoparasites, attacking much larger plants; as female scale-insects cannot move, they are obligate parasites, permanently attached to their hosts. There are six major parasitic strategies, namely parasitic castration, directly transmitted parasitism, trophically transmitted parasitism, vector-transmitted parasitism, parasitoid
Inflammation is part of the complex biological response of body tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants, is a protective response involving immune cells, blood vessels, molecular mediators. The function of inflammation is to eliminate the initial cause of cell injury, clear out necrotic cells and tissues damaged from the original insult and the inflammatory process, initiate tissue repair; the five classical signs of inflammation are heat, redness and loss of function. Inflammation is a generic response, therefore it is considered as a mechanism of innate immunity, as compared to adaptive immunity, specific for each pathogen. Too little inflammation could lead to progressive tissue destruction by the harmful stimulus and compromise the survival of the organism. In contrast, chronic inflammation may lead to a host of diseases, such as hay fever, atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer. Inflammation is therefore closely regulated by the body. Inflammation can be classified as either chronic.
Acute inflammation is the initial response of the body to harmful stimuli and is achieved by the increased movement of plasma and leukocytes from the blood into the injured tissues. A series of biochemical events propagates and matures the inflammatory response, involving the local vascular system, the immune system, various cells within the injured tissue. Prolonged inflammation, known as chronic inflammation, leads to a progressive shift in the type of cells present at the site of inflammation, such as mononuclear cells, is characterized by simultaneous destruction and healing of the tissue from the inflammatory process. Inflammation is not a synonym for infection. Infection describes the interaction between the action of microbial invasion and the reaction of the body's inflammatory response—the two components are considered together when discussing an infection, the word is used to imply a microbial invasive cause for the observed inflammatory reaction. Inflammation on the other hand describes purely the body's immunovascular response, whatever the cause may be.
But because of how the two are correlated, words ending in the suffix -itis are sometimes informally described as referring to infection. For example, the word urethritis means only "urethral inflammation", but clinical health care providers discuss urethritis as a urethral infection because urethral microbial invasion is the most common cause of urethritis, it is useful to differentiate inflammation and infection because there are typical situations in pathology and medical diagnosis where inflammation is not driven by microbial invasion – for example, trauma and autoimmune diseases including type III hypersensitivity. Conversely, there is pathology where microbial invasion does not cause the classic inflammatory response – for example, parasitosis or eosinophilia. Acute inflammation is a short-term process appearing within a few minutes or hours and begins to cease upon the removal of the injurious stimulus, it involves a coordinated and systemic mobilization response locally of various immune and neurological mediators of acute inflammation.
In a normal healthy response, it becomes activated, clears the pathogen and begins a repair process and ceases. It is characterized by five cardinal signs:An acronym that may be used to remember the key symptoms is "PRISH", for pain, immobility and heat; the traditional names for signs of inflammation come from Latin: Dolor Calor Rubor Tumor Functio laesa The first four were described by Celsus, while loss of function was added by Galen. However, the addition of this fifth sign has been ascribed to Thomas Sydenham and Virchow. Redness and heat are due to increased blood flow at body core temperature to the inflamed site. Loss of function has multiple causes. Acute inflammation of the lung does not cause pain unless the inflammation involves the parietal pleura, which does have pain-sensitive nerve endings; the process of acute inflammation is initiated by resident immune cells present in the involved tissue resident macrophages, dendritic cells, Kupffer cells and mast cells. These cells possess surface receptors known as pattern recognition receptors, which recognize two subclasses of molecules: pathogen-associated molecular patterns and damage-associated molecular patterns.
PAMPs are compounds that are associated with various pathogens, but which are distinguishable from host molecules. DAMPs are compounds that are associated with host-related cell damage. At the onset of an infection, burn, or other injuries, these cells undergo activation and release inflammatory mediators responsible for the clinical signs of inflammation. Vasodilation and its resulting increased blood flow causes increased heat. Increased permeability of the blood vessels results in an exudation of plasma proteins and fluid into the tissue, which manifests itself as swelling; some of the released mediators such as bradykinin increase the sensitivity to pain. The mediator molecules alter the blood vessels to
Herpes simplex virus
Herpes simplex virus 1 and 2 known by their taxonomical names Human alphaherpesvirus 1 and Human alphaherpesvirus 2, are two members of the human Herpesviridae family, a set of viruses that produce viral infections in the majority of humans. Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 are common and contagious, they can be spread. About 67% of the world population under the age of 50 has HSV-1. In the United States more than one-in-six people have HSV-2. Although it can be transmitted through any intimate contact, it is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. Many of those who are infected never develop symptoms. Symptoms, when they occur, may include watery blisters in the skin or mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, or genitals. Lesions heal with a scab characteristic of herpetic disease. Sometimes, the viruses cause mild or atypical symptoms during outbreaks. However, they can cause more troublesome forms of herpes simplex; as neurotropic and neuroinvasive viruses, HSV-1 and -2 persist in the body by hiding from the immune system in the cell bodies of neurons.
After the initial or primary infection, some infected people experience sporadic episodes of viral reactivation or outbreaks. In an outbreak, the virus in a nerve cell becomes active and is transported via the neuron's axon to the skin, where virus replication and shedding occur and cause new sores. HSV-1 and HSV-2 are transmitted by contact with an infected person who has reactivations of the virus. HSV-2 is periodically shed in the human genital tract, most asymptomatically. Most sexual transmissions occur during periods of asymptomatic shedding. Asymptomatic reactivation means that the virus causes atypical, subtle, or hard-to-notice symptoms that are not identified as an active herpes infection, so acquiring the virus is possible if no active HSV blisters or sores are present. In one study, daily genital swab samples found HSV-2 at a median of 12–28% of days among those who have had an outbreak, 10% of days among those suffering from asymptomatic infection, with many of these episodes occurring without visible outbreak.
In another study, 73 subjects were randomized to receive valaciclovir 1 g daily or placebo for 60 days each in a two-way crossover design. A daily swab of the genital area was self-collected for HSV-2 detection by polymerase chain reaction, to compare the effect of valaciclovir versus placebo on asymptomatic viral shedding in immunocompetent, HSV-2 seropositive subjects without a history of symptomatic genital herpes infection; the study found that valaciclovir reduced shedding during subclinical days compared to placebo, showing a 71% reduction. About 88% of patients treated with valaciclovir had no recognized signs or symptoms versus 77% for placebo. For HSV-2, subclinical shedding may account for most of the transmission. Studies on discordant partners show that the transmission rate is 5 per 10,000 sexual contacts. Atypical symptoms are attributed to other causes, such as a yeast infection. HSV-1 is acquired orally during childhood, it may be sexually transmitted, including contact with saliva, such as kissing and mouth-to-genital contact.
HSV-2 is a sexually transmitted infection, but rates of HSV-1 genital infections are increasing. Both viruses may be transmitted vertically during childbirth. However, the risk of infection transmission is minimal if the mother has no symptoms or exposed blisters during delivery; the risk is considerable when the mother is infected with the virus for the first time during late pregnancy. Herpes simplex viruses can affect areas of skin exposed to contact with an infected person. An example of this is herpetic whitlow, a herpes infection on the fingers; this was a common affliction of dental surgeons prior to the routine use of gloves when conducting treatment on patients. Animal herpes viruses all share some common properties; the structure of herpes viruses consists of a large, double-stranded, linear DNA genome encased within an icosahedral protein cage called the capsid, wrapped in a lipid bilayer called the envelope. The envelope is joined to the capsid by means of a tegument; this complete particle is known as the virion.
HSV-1 and HSV-2 each contain at least 74 genes within their genomes, although speculation over gene crowding allows as many as 84 unique protein coding genes by 94 putative ORFs. These genes encode a variety of proteins involved in forming the capsid and envelope of the virus, as well as controlling the replication and infectivity of the virus; these genes and their functions are summarized in the table below. The genomes of HSV-1 and HSV-2 are complex and contain two unique regions called the long unique region and the short unique region. Of the 74 known ORFs, UL contains 56 viral genes, whereas US contains only 12. Transcription of HSV genes is catalyzed by RNA polymerase II of the infected host. Immediate early genes, which encode proteins that regulate the expression of early and late viral genes, are the first to be expressed following infection. Early gene expression follows, to allow the synthesis of enzymes involved in DNA replication and the production of certain envelope glycoproteins.
Expression of late genes occurs last. Five proteins from form the viral capsid - UL6, UL18, UL35, UL38, the major capsid p