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Pathogen Transmission, Defense Mechanisms, and Antimicrobial Resistance Assignment

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Question 1.1

Varieties of microorganisms can create an infection in the human body and 3 among those pathogens are-

  • Virus: the viruses are constructed of the genetic codes which are RNA and DNA and they are protected by the envelope of protein (Longhurst, 2019). Once a human being is infected the viruses can invade the cells of the host’s body.

Example: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

  • Bacteria: the bacterias are single-cell microorganisms and have a very diverse profile with different shapes and features. Antibiotics are used for treating bacteria-caused diseases. However, both harmful and harmless bacteria can remain inside the human body (Longhurst, 2019).

Example: Harmful bacteria-Clostridiumperfringens and the harmless bacteria-Lactobacillusacidophilus

  • Fungi: fungi cells generally contain a nucleus and other components which are covered and protected by a thick cell wall. The structure of the fungi can make them harder to kill.

Example: Candidaalbicans.

Question 1.2

The pathogen can be spread into the body of the human in two ways and can be the direct method and also the indirect method.

Two direct methods of transmission of pathogens

Direct methods are much more common in the case of transmission of pathogens inside the body of human beings. The sexually transmitted disease is caused by viruses that can be transmitted through person-to-person contact (Higuera, 2022). Kissing or sexual intercourse can be the ways of transmitting pathogens in the human body. In this way, HIV, Gonorrhoea and syphilis can be spread in the body. On the other hand, Gonorrhoea can be passed from the gestational parent to the newborn during the childbirth phase (Higuera, 2022). Furthermore, the pathogen can also be transmitted through droplet spread. Speaking, coughing and sneezing can spread the droplets that need close proximity to the unaffected person to spread.

Two indirect methods of transmission of pathogens- Furthermore, indirect transmissions can happen through airborne transmission (Measles), eating and drinking contaminated food and water (E.coli), animal reservoirs (Plague from rodents), and environmental reservoirs (Hookworm from infected soil) (Higuera, 2022). On the other hand, the transmission can also happen from the touching of the contaminated object, animal-to-person contact (Toxoplasma gondii), and insect bites (mosquitoes).

Question 1.3

The three factors can increase the vulnerability of the human being's predisposition towards the infection. Human beings generally are open to any kind of infection and contamination by pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and others. However, the three examples that can include the tendency of vulnerability towards these similar pathogens are ageing, poor nutrition and exposure to toxicants (Virology Research Services, 2019). Nutritional status plays a huge role in immunity and if people are prone to fasting or eating non-nutritious foods the attack of pathogens can be much more common than in a healthy person. On the other hand, ageing can also be a vital factor as people’s immunity power can be lower in the case of older people than younger ones. For that reason, the virus or bacteria along with the fungal infections attack older adults most of the time (Virology Research Services, 2019). On the other hand, exposure to toxicants can be a possible cause of being attacked by pathogens. The clear and pollution-free environment in this case plays a huge role for the susceptibility towards the infection.

Question 1.4

The human body naturally made the defence mechanism to hold the bacteria, viruses and fungal infections to invade the body and cause infection. The 4 defence mechanisms that can help human beings to restrict the invasion of pathogens are as follows-

  • Natural barriers: Skin is a natural barrier that can prevent the invasion of disease-causing pathogens. In addition, the hairlike cilia in the nose or airways prevent microorganisms. The mucous membranes in the mouth, eyelids and ears are also considered barriers. Lysozyme in tears also is a barrier (Bush, 2022). The secretion from stomach acid (HCl), pancreatic enzymes and bile has the ability to kill some bacteria. The vagina in the female body is acidic in nature which can prevent the infection.
  • Inflammation: The inflammation can be caused in the place of injury or invasion of any microorganisms. The damaged tissues create inflammation by releasing specific substances to attack and kill invaders, processing the repair, and disposing of the damaged and dead tissues. Blood circulation gets increased in the place of inflammation which results in the carrying of immune cells.
  • Fever: The body temperature of humans can be increased in response to any injury or infection (Bush, 2022). With the rising body temperature, the defense mechanism of the human body can be increased.
  • Immune response: The acquired immunity that can be seen in the human body can include the killer T cells and the antibodies that can fight against pathogens.

Question 1.5

In the healthcare practice the process can be included that can break the chain of infection. I have heard of the good cleanliness practice in my own home that is taught by parents. Cleaning the hand with hand wash frequently or before eating some food can be a very good practice for breaking the chain of infection. I have seen the extensive use of sanitisers during the covid period for breaking the process of being infected by the coronavirus. In that case the need for the identification of the susceptible host and the portal of the entry for microorganisms (Infection Prevention and You, 2021). In addition, I have also identified the reservoirs that are the core of the infection and the mode of transmission is also visualised and felt by me. In that case, often I immunised myself by taking the vaccinations and also underwent immediate treatment of the contaminated disease before spreading.

On the other hand, I have considered patient education and the inclusion of health insurance for the betterment of disease dealing. In the case of hospitals and the healthcare sectors, cleaning and sterilisation are highly necessary for stopping the spreading of disease. The infection prevention policies are also included in the local territories that can help to back up the inhabitants in that locality (Infection Prevention and You, 2021). The municipalities can include pest control procedures that can be much more helpful for the local people. I have also included the pest control procedure in my home for reducing the chance of disease spreading. Time of the sudden onset of the pandemic the inclusion of personal protective equipment was seen which included gloves and masks and aprons for restricting contagious bacteria and viruses. Isolation was also a plausible option for people to stay away from the virus. The control of the aerosol and splatters were also important for breaking the chain of disease.

During the time of the pandemic, taking care of personal hygiene was very much important. However, the use of personal protective equipment was used. In addition, hand hygiene was also maintained as much as possible. I used hand sanitisers that are alcohol based in order to keep my hands germ-free. I also kept myself under the protection of the N-95 masks and the latex hand gloves not to touch anything that might contain the infection. However, even if I took enough protection during this condition, I was affected by Coronavirus. The vaccination was not taken by me at the right time. It could be the reason behind being affected by the virus. The isolation process was also not tight for some people that were not aware enough of the virulence and the isolation process (Infection Prevention And You, 2021). The lockdown process at that time was not maintained by the local people and even if being affected by the virus they did not bother to stay isolated and quarantined. For this reason, the next time the awareness could be spread to the local people.

Question 1.6

The two ways of control of the microorganism can be through physical controlor chemical control. The physical control process can include the process of keeping things at a very high or very low temperature, including osmotic pressure, filtration, and radiation. Desiccation is another physical method that can be used during the controlling of microorganisms. In addition, lyophilisation is also used in order to prevent contamination through bacterial or microbial infestation (Kaiser, 2022). The physical methods are used in a controlled process that needs monitoring and assessment. In addition in the laboratories, the processes can be included and the process can be established through professional attendants.

On the contrary, chemical control can also be used in the restriction of microbial growth. In this process, the use of antibiotics and chemotherapeutic materials are used for the control of bacteria, viruses and fungi. Antimicrobial and synthetic drugs are also used for the treatment and restriction of microbes (Kaiser, 2022). On the other hand, the process can be used in the home or healthcare facilities controlled by healthcare management or professionals. The use of disinfectants, antiseptics and chemotherapeutic agents with the sterilisation process can be incorporated. Some of the disinfectants are also used by common people and are not used in the closed chamber or need no monitoring or assessment.;

Question 2.1


;Antiviral drugs are given to people in the healthcare sector for targeting the virus in the system that might affect the body and can cause a viral infection (Health.gov.au, 2021). For example, the HIV virus or retrovirus antiviral drugs are given. An example of an antiviral drug is Oseltamivir.


;The antibiotics are given to people in order to restrict the bacteria infection and in that case, the disease caused by the bacteria can be suppressed or removed. An example of an antibacterial drug is Amoxicillin.


;Antifungal drugs are given to people that are suffering from fungal infections. An example of an antifungal drug is Ketoconazole.


;Some drugs are used in the healthcare sector for the treatment of the parasites, helminths, and protozoa and are antiparasitic drugs (Health.gov.au, 2021). Example: Mebendazole

Question 2.2

Antimicrobial resistance is the time when germs such as bacteria and viruses are no longer responsive or vulnerable to the drugs that are designed to kill the pathogens. Even if the medication or the drugs are given to the patients, the pathogen will continue to grow and the body is resistant to antibiotics and antifungals (Cdc.gov, 2021). When too many antibiotics are used for the resistance mainly they are misused, and the resistance towards the drug can be visualised. Modern healthcare in society can be jeopardised through miss-prescribed or misused drugs. For that reason, 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections occur in the United States and more than 35,000 people die each year. Antimicrobial resistance is concern as it is responsible for increasing medical treatment cost and also tagged with increasing length of hospital stays.

I experienced antibiotic resistance once when I caught a cold and fever and I took many antibiotic pills even before my own immune response sets in. At that time the drugs were for no use and they did not work for my condition. Additionally, due to this situation my hospital staying increased which was costly.


Bush, M.L., 2022. Defenses Against Infection. Available at: https://www.msdmanuals.com/home/infections/biology-of-infectious-disease/defenses-against-infection#:~:text=Natural%20barriers%20include%20the%20skin,that%20enter%20the%20urinary%20tract. [Accessed on: 12 December 2022]

Cdc.gov, 2021. Antimicrobial Resistance Q&A . Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/antibiotic-resistance.html#:~:text=Antimicrobial%20resistance%20jeopardizes%20advancements%20in,effective%20antibiotics%20are%20not%20available. [Accessed on: 12 December 2022]

Health.gov.au, 2021. Types of drugs. Available at: https://www.health.gov.au/topics/drugs/about-drugs/types-of-drugs [Accessed on: 12 December 2022]

Higuera, V., 2022. How Are Diseases Transmitted? Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/disease-transmission [Accessed on: 12 December 2022]

Infectionpreventionandyou , 2021. Break the Chain of Infection. Available at: https://infectionpreventionandyou.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Break-the-Chain-of-Infection.pdf [Accessed on: 12 December 2022]

Kaiser, G., 2022. An Overview to Control of Microorganisms. Available at: https://bio.libretexts.org/Bookshelves/Microbiology/Book%3A_Microbiology_(Kaiser)/Unit_2%3A_Bacterial_Genetics_and_the_Chemical_Control_of_Bacteria/4%3A_Using_Antibiotics_and_Chemical_Agents_to_Control_Bacteria/4.1%3A_An_Overview_to_Control_of_Microorganisms [Accessed on: 12 December 2022]

Longhurst, S. A., 2019. What You Need to Know About Pathogens and the Spread of Disease. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-a-pathogen [Accessed on: 12 December 2022]

Virologyresearchservices, 2019. What determines susceptibility to virus infection? Available at: https://virologyresearchservices.com/2019/07/29/susceptibility-to-virus/ [Accessed on: 12 December 2022]

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