SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Syphilis

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum. The signs and symptoms of syphilis vary depending in; the primary stage classically presents with a single chancre. In secondary syphilis, a diffuse rash occurs, which involves the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. There may be sores in the mouth or vagina. In latent syphilis, which can last for years, there are few or no symptoms. In tertiary syphilis, there are neurological problems, or heart symptoms. Syphilis has been known as "the great imitator" as it may cause symptoms similar to many other diseases. Syphilis is most spread through sexual activity, it may be transmitted from mother to baby during pregnancy or at birth, resulting in congenital syphilis. Other diseases caused by the Treponema bacteria include yaws and nonvenereal endemic syphilis; these three diseases are not sexually transmitted. Diagnosis is made by using blood tests; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend all pregnant women be tested.

The risk of sexual transmission of syphilis can be reduced by using a polyurethane condom. Syphilis can be treated with antibiotics; the preferred antibiotic for most cases is benzathine benzylpenicillin injected into a muscle. In those who have a severe penicillin allergy, doxycycline or tetracycline may be used. In those with neurosyphilis, intravenous benzylpenicillin or ceftriaxone is recommended. During treatment people may develop fever and muscle pains, a reaction known as Jarisch–Herxheimer. In 2015, about 45.4 million people were infected with 6 million new cases. During 2015, it caused about 107,000 deaths, down from 202,000 in 1990. After decreasing with the availability of penicillin in the 1940s, rates of infection have increased since the turn of the millennium in many countries in combination with human immunodeficiency virus; this is believed to be due to increased promiscuity, decreasing use of condoms, unsafe sexual practices among men who have sex with men. In 2015, Cuba became the first country to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of syphilis.

Syphilis can present in one of four different stages: primary, secondary and tertiary, may occur congenitally. It was referred to as "the great imitator" by Sir William Osler due to its varied presentations. Primary syphilis is acquired by direct sexual contact with the infectious lesions of another person. 3 to 90 days after the initial exposure a skin lesion, called a chancre, appears at the point of contact. This is classically a single, painless, non-itchy skin ulceration with a clean base and sharp borders 0.3–3.0 cm in size. The lesion may take on any form. In the classic form, it evolves from a macule to a papule and to an erosion or ulcer. Multiple lesions may be present, with multiple lesions being more common when coinfected with HIV. Lesions may be painful or tender, they may occur in places other than the genitals; the most common location in women is the cervix, the penis in heterosexual men, anally and rectally in men who have sex with men. Lymph node enlargement occurs around the area of infection, occurring seven to 10 days after chancre formation.

The lesion may persist for three to six weeks. Secondary syphilis occurs four to ten weeks after the primary infection. While secondary disease is known for the many different ways it can manifest, symptoms most involve the skin, mucous membranes, lymph nodes. There may be a symmetrical, reddish-pink, non-itchy rash on the trunk and extremities, including the palms and soles; the rash may become pustular. It may form flat, whitish, wart-like lesions on mucous membranes, known as condyloma latum. All of these lesions are infectious. Other symptoms may include fever, sore throat, weight loss, hair loss, headache. Rare manifestations include liver inflammation, kidney disease, joint inflammation, inflammation of the optic nerve and interstitial keratitis; the acute symptoms resolve after three to six weeks. Many people who present with secondary syphilis do not report having had the classical chancre of primary syphilis. Latent syphilis is defined as having serologic proof of infection without symptoms of disease.

It is further described as either early or late in the United States. The United Kingdom uses a cut-off of two years for late latent syphilis. Early latent syphilis may have a relapse of symptoms in 25% of cases. Late latent syphilis is asymptomatic, not as contagious as early latent syphilis. Tertiary syphilis may occur 3 to 15 years after the initial infection, may be divided into three different forms: gummatous syphilis, late neurosyphilis, cardiovascular syphilis. Without treatment, a third of infected people develop tertiary disease. People with tertiary syphilis are not infectious. Gummatous syphilis or late benign syphilis

Hazel Barton

Hazel A. Barton is an English born microbiologist and geologist and cave diving explorer, interested in extremophile microorganisms, she has appeared in several documentaries. Hazel Barton was born in England, she came to the United States 6 years after she first started caving and studied drug resistant tuberculosis at University of Colorado, in Boulder, Colorado. She was named a Science hero by The My Hero Project. In 2018 she received the Alice C. Evans Award from the American Society for Microbiology for her work in fostering the inclusion and advancement of women in microbiology. Barton co-starred with Nancy Holler Aulenbach in the 2001 IMAX film Journey into Amazing Caves. In December 2006, Barton was featured on Animal Planet's The Real Lost World. Appearances feature Barton's research involving caves and the microbial life that inhabit these harsh environments. In 2008, she was part of the TV movie documentary How Life Began and in the TV documentary series Catastrophe in the segment Snowball Earth.

In 2010, she was in the segment'Arrival' of the TV documentary series First Life. In 2012, she appeared in'Defeating the Superbugs' of the TV documentary series Horizon. In 2013, she was in a short documentary named Bat House and in the TV SeriesHow the Earth Works episode Ice Age or Hell Fire?. She was one of the scientists featured in the History Channel special Journey to the Center of the World, documenting the exploration of the Guatemalan cave Naj Tunich, used as a sacred site by the ancient Maya, she has made appearances on several television shows including the CBS Early Show in 2007 when she was featured by Phil Koeghan as a "Koeghan Hero." She has been featured in the children's book Extreme Scientists: Exploring Nature's Mysteries from Perilous Places by Donna M. Jackson. Barton has published numerous publications on cave research and extremophile bacteria and co-authored with Nancy Holler Aulenbach the children's book Exploring Caves: Journeys into the Earth, based on their 2001 film.

Bullen HA, Oehrle SA, Bennett AF, Taylor NM, Barton HA, "Use of attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy to identify microbial metabolic products on carbonate mineral surfaces", Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 74: 4553–9, doi:10.1128/AEM.02936-07, PMC 2493160, PMID 18502924. Spear JR, Barton HA, Robertson CE, Francis CA, Pace NR, "Microbial community biofabrics in a geothermal mine adit", Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 73: 6172–80, doi:10.1128/AEM.00393-07, PMC 2075011, PMID 17693567. Barton, H. A.. Methods, 66: 21–31, doi:10.1016/j.mimet.2005.10.005, PMID 16305811. Barton, H. A.. R.. R. "Microbial life in the underworld: Biogenicity in secondary mineral formations", Geomicrobiology Journal, 18: 359–368, doi:10.1080/01490450152467840, retrieved 10 April 2009 Barton, H. A. "Introduction to cave microbiology: a review for the non-specialist", Journal of Cave and Karst Studies, 68: 43–54, retrieved 10 April 2009 Barton, H. A.. E. "Geomicrobiology in cave environments: past and future perspectives", Journal of Cave and Karst Studies, 69: 163–178, retrieved 10 April 2009 Barton, H.

A.. "What's Up Down There? Microbial Diversity in Caves", Microbe-American Society for Microbiology, 2: 132, retrieved 10 April 2009 Official website Hazel Barton, University of Akron Department of Biology, 2015 This Week in TWiM #51: Cave science with Hazel Barton Microbeworld.org, Microbiology Archives, podcast, n.d.79 minutes MTS37 – Hazel Barton – Cave Dwellers Microbeworld.org, Microbiology Archives, podcast, n.d. 24 minutes

Micromeria fruticosa

Micromeria fruticosa known as white micromeria or white-leaved savory, is a dwarf evergreen shrub endemic to Israel and the eastern Mediterranean. It is a member of the genus Micromeria, in the family Lamiaceae, it is known as zuta levana in today's Modern Hebrew and ashab a-shai in Arabic. The Bedouins of Israel, call it by the Arabic name, believed to be a cognate of the Hebrew qoranit, an aromatic herb described in the Mishnah; the plant's aromatic leaves are used in making decoctions. The plant, which contains a high concentration of the monoterpene essential oil known as pulegone, as well as isomenthol, is known for its medicinal properties. In folk remedies, it has been used in treating ailments such as abdominal pains, eye infections, heart disorders, high blood pressure, exhaustion and open wounds. Other usages include making a poultice from the boiled leaves and applying it onto burns and skin infections, or drinking an infusion from its leaves for relieving stomach aches, or gargling with the same for treating bad breath odors and gum infections