Assessment
Questionnaire

Have a symptom?
See what questions
a doctor would ask.
 
Diseases » Bacteremia » Wikipedia
 

Bacteremia in Wikipedia

Note:Wikipedia is a user-contributed encyclopedia and may not have been reviewed by professional editors (See full Wikipedia disclaimer)

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Bacteremia". (Source - Retrieved 2006-09-07 14:04:39 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacteremia)

Introduction

Bacteremia (Bacteræmia in British English, also known as blood poisoning or toxemia) is the presence of bacteria in the blood.

Diagnosis

Bacteremia is most commonly diagnosed by blood culture, in which a sample of blood is allowed to incubate with a medium that promotes bacterial growth. Since blood is normally sterile, this process does not normally lead to the isolation of bacteria. If, however, bacteria are present in the bloodstream at the time the sample is obtained, the bacteria will multiply in the medium and can thereby be detected. Any bacteria that incidentally find their way to the culture medium will also multiply. For this reason, blood cultures must be drawn with great attention to sterile process. Occasionally, blood cultures will reveal the presence of bacteria that represent contamination from the skin through which the culture was obtained. Blood cultures must be repeated at intervals to determine if persistent—rather than transient—bacteremia is present.

Causes

In the hospital, indwelling catheters are a frequent cause of bacteremia and the subsequent nosocomial infections, because they provide a means by which bacteria normally found on the skin can enter the bloodstream. Other causes of bacteremia include dental procedures (occasionally including simple tooth brushing), herpes (including herpetic whitlow), urinary tract infections, IV drug use, and colorectal cancer. Bacteremia may also be seen in oropharyngeal, gastrointestinal or genitourinary surgery or exploration.

Consequences

Bacteremia is the principal means by which local infections are spread to distant organs (referred to as hematogenous spread). Bacteremia is typically transient rather than continuous, due to a vigorous immune system response when bacteria are detected in the blood. Hematogenous dissemination of bacteria is part of the pathophysiology of meningitis and endocarditis, and of Pott's disease and many other forms of osteomyelitis.

A related condition, septicemia, refers to the presence of bacteria or their toxins in the bloodstream.

Bacteremia, as noted above, frequently elicits a vigorous immune system response. The constellation of findings related to this response (such as fever, chills, or hypotension) is referred to as sepsis. In the setting of more severe disturbances of temperature, respiration, heart rate or white blood cell count, the response is characterized as sepsis syndrome, septic shock, and may result in multiple organ dysfunction syndrome.

Research and prevention

While bacteremia was not discovered by Dr. John Kellogg it was researched extensively by him. Kellogg showed that most disease is alleviated by a change in intestinal flora: bacteria that is in the intestines can either help or hinder the body. "Bad" bacteria produce toxins during the digestion of protein that poison the blood. Poor diet also favors harmful bacteria that can then infect other tissues in the body. The intestinal flora is changed by the diet of the individual, and is changed for the better, generally, with a well-balanced vegetarian diet that favors low-protein, laxative and high-fiber foods. This natural change in flora can be sped by enemas seeded with favorable bacteria, or by various regimens of specific foods designed to heal specific ailments.

See also

 

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use. Information provided on this site is for informational purposes only; it is not intended as a substitute for advice from your own medical team. The information on this site is not to be used for diagnosing or treating any health concerns you may have - please contact your physician or health care professional for all your medical needs. Please see our Terms of Use.

Home | Symptoms | Diseases | Diagnosis | Videos | Tools | Forum | About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Advertise