Discussion 1: Causes of Diarrheal Diseases


I need to write 2 responses to this discussion post 150 words each THIS IS TWO SEPARATE RESPONSES 150 words each, to a discussion post that I have already responded to.


Bacterial morphology is an extremely useful method of identification for clinicians to determine pathogenic microorganisms. By understanding the morphology of pathogenic microorganisms, doctors can hypothesize likely candidates for diarrheal disease.

Bacterial morphology describes bacteria by their structures, such as shape, size, and arrangement. Coccus bacteria are spherical, rod or bacillus bacteria are cylindrical, and vibrio are bacteria that are shaped like gently curved rods. Spirillum and spirochete are both spiral-shaped bacteria, the former resembling a spring and the latter resembling a corkscrew (Chess 109). Bacteria that causes diarrheal disease may have different morphologies which allow doctors to diagnose the correct pathogen. For example, three common causing agents of diarrheal disease include the following bacteria: Clostridium difficileVibrio cholerae, and enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) (Hodges). Vibrio cholerae is a comma-shaped bacillus that varies between one to three micrometers in length (Handa). Clostridium difficile is a rod-shaped bacterium that has peritrichous flagella projecting in all directions around the cell and measures between three to five micrometers in length (Samanta). Due to its less bent shape, the presence of peritrichous flagella, and its slightly larger size, Clostridium difficile can be microscopically distinguished from Vibrio cholerae based on its structure or morphology. E. coli is rod shaped, similarly to C. difficile, however staining techniques can be employed to understand the differences in morphology between E. coli and C. difficile. Clinicians can use the gram staining method which employs the use of a primary dye, Gram’s iodine, an alcohol rinse, and a counterstain in a timed sequence. In gram-positive cells like C. difficile, the primary crystal violet dye will remain inside the cell throughout the process. E. coli, which is a gram-negative rod, will turn red, the color of the counterstain, since its outer wall is weakened and the violet dye is lost during the alcohol step. Gram-positive bacteria have thick layers of peptidoglycan, unlike gram-negative bacteria, thereby retaining the violet dye (Steward).

Overall, clinicians can compare the morphology of the bacteria in stool samples to the known morphology of these common pathogens through microscopic analysis and gram staining. Additionally, visually analyzing samples through a microscope can help clinicians identify if a pathogen is non-bacterial. Giardia, a protist parasite, is a common cause for diarrheal illness (Lumen). This would be easily discernible under a microscope because protists are eukaryotes with organelles, whereas bacteria are prokaryotes without organelles. Ultimately, morphology is an extremely useful method to identify pathogenic microorganisms.


SECND RESPONSE: Bacterial morphology is incredibly important in discovering, diagnosing and treating a patients disease or illness. The bacterial morphology consists of the shapes and arrangements of bacteria (or parasite/eukaryotic) and are crucial in determining which bacterium a patient is infected with. It is important to know which bacteria is causing the infection because it helps diagnose the disease or illness the patient may have, since some bacteria are associated with particular illnesses or infections. Identifying the bacteria can assist the doctor in diagnosing the correct disease and then they are able to provide the correct treatment for that specific bacteria. Many bacteria require different treatments, and if the wrong treatment is given it could have little to no effect on the actual infecting bacterium. Making sure the bacteria is correctly identified means the patient has a more effective treatment plan and overall a better outcome.

There are many diarrheal diseases around the world and effect many people leading to illness and even death. The most common diarrheal diseases in the world are, E. coli, Shigella, Salmonella and Vibrio cholerae (Simonsen, 2021). To figure out what the patient may be infected with, a sample must be looked at under a microscope for identification. Luckily we have a standard morphology system that classifies the different bacterium that may be causing the potential diarrheal disease. In E. coli the bacteria will stain a pink color as they are a gram negative bacteria. They are small, rod shaped bacillus and while most E. coli strains won’t cause harm to humans, some strains do cause harm by releasing toxins and if identified correctly, could save a persons life. Shigella is another diarrheal disease caused by oral-fecal contamination and found everywhere in the world. They are classified as gram negative, anaerobic, nonmotile and rod-shaped. They are also classified as pathogenic (Chess, 20.5). These bacteria are very infectious, and can cause serious harm if not correctly treated. Salmonella are flagellated, gram negative bacilli most often found in food borne (Giannella, 1996). While Salmonella infections are rarely deadly, there is a small chance fevers develop and it can be fatal especially in young and elderly people. Vibrio cholerae is also commonly found when eating or drinking something that is infected. Vibrio cholerae is also gram negative, rod/bacilli shaped, however is in a curved shape. Vibrio cholerae has the ability to change and survive in unfavorable areas and is termed as an emerging disease (Chess, 1.4).

Being able to find the differences that classify these different bacterium can save lives, whether by treating the actual patient or assisting in finding the root cause (such as food borne or infected food supply) and removing it so that it cannot spread.

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