What are they?
By recurrent infections we mean emerging and Re-emerging diseases caused by bacteria, fungi or viruses.
A latent infection is an infection by an organism that remains inactive in the body. Chronic infection is characterized by the continued presence of infectious virus following the primary infection and may include chronic or recurrent disease.
Mechanism of action
To establish an infection, a microorganism must:
- Overcome natural barriers such as skin or mucous membranes;
- Be pathogenic, that is, capable of causing pathologies in the body;
- Have the ability to replicate and cause disease.
There are two types of contact transmission: direct and indirect.
- Direct contact transmission occurs when there is physical contact between an infected person and a susceptible person.
- Indirect contact transmission occurs when there is no direct human-to-human contact.
Depending on the pathogen, we have different types of infections:
- Viral infection if it is caused by viruses;
- Bacterial infection if it is caused by bacteria;
- Parasitic infection if it is caused by parasites;
- Fungal infection if it is caused by fungi.
Viral infections mainly affect the airways, nose, throat, lungs and upper respiratory tract. Viruses affecting these areas are adenoviruses or rhinoviruses.
Hepatitis A, B, and C cause acute infection of the liver.
Herpes simplex viruses cause sores on the skin or mucous membranes such as around the mouth and lips and around the genitals or rectum but not limited to those areas.
Cytomegalovirus, causes the fairly recurrent infection kissing disease, with symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, dysentery, high fever, intense sweating and weight loss.
Most common bacterial infections include:
- Escherichia coli and Salmonella are both bacteria that can cause food poisoning.
- Helicobacter pylori causes gastritis and ulcers.
- Neisseria gonorrhoeae causes Gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease.
- Neisseria meningitidis cause meningococcal disease.
- Staphylococcus aureus causes, abscess formation, cellulitis, wound infections, toxic shock syndrome, pneumonia and food poisoning.
- Streptococcal bacteria causes pneumonia, meningitis, ear infections and sore throats.
Most common fungal infections include:
- Candida causes genital tract and skin infections;
- Aspergillus causes asthma and inflammation in the lungs.
Most common parasitic infections include:
- Amebiasis is an intestinal illness caused by a microscopic parasite called Entamoeba histolytica. The illness may cause diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps and fever.
- Taeniasis in humans is a parasitic infection caused by the tapeworm species Taenia saginata, with symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, severe weight loss, and malabsorption.
Regardless of the type of infection, the symptoms are almost similar:
- High lymphocytes;
- General malaise;
- Muscle ache;
- Bone pain
- Itchy skin;
- Weight loss;
- Lack of appetite;
- Confusional state;
- Intense sweating;
- Constant weakness.
The diagnosis of infections can be made by your healthcare provider or by an Infectious disease doctor.
Following the visit, the specialist may prescribe additional lab tests:
- Antibody serology tests check for the presence or level of specific antibodies in the blood. Antibodies are proteins that your immune system makes to fight foreign substances. These substances are often pathogens;
- Complete blood count;
- Histological examination of the mucous membranes;
- Fecal culture laboratory test;
- Urine culture test.
There are different treatments for infections, depending on the specific pathogen:
- Antibiotics for bacterial infections;
- Antivirals for viral infections;
- Antifungals for fungal infections;
- Pesticides for parasitic infections.
But these drugs can cause several side effects:
- Antibiotic use can have several negative effects on the gut microbiota, including reduced species diversity, altered metabolic activity, and the selection of antibiotic-resistant organisms
- Antivirals can cause skin inflammation, erythema, itching and osteoarticular pain.
- Pesticides can cause neuralgia, migraine, tachycardia and muscle stiffness.
- Antifungals can cause hypotension, arrhythmias, muscle, bone and abdominal pain.
There are different natural remedies that can be used to prevent infections:
- Garlic is a powerful remedy to protect against infections of many bacteria, fungi and viruses.
- Onions contain sulfur compounds that help fight mucus and promote the expulsion of mucus from your airways.
- Linden is a powerful antiviral and antibiotic.
- Sage has an antifungal and antiparasitic action.
- Rosemary has more than 20 antiviral and antibacterial principles.
- Cardamom is a natural antiseptic that relieves Helicobacter pylori ulcers.
- Thyme has a disinfectant action.
- Lemon balm is rich in thymol that has a strong antibacterial and antifungal action.
- Sundew has a molecule, known as plunbagina, useful for infections of the respiratory and intestinal tracts.
- Echinacea has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiviral action, and stimulates the immune system.
- Meadowsweet is excellent to kill germs in the urine and to protect the mucous membranes of the digestive tract and stomach lining whilst reducing acidity.
A diet to prevent infections must aim to strengthen the immune system, in order to prevent attacks by microorganisms:
- Eat foods rich in iron such as red meat, egg yolk, spinach, lentils, cod and tuna.
- Eat foods rich in vitamin E such as almonds, beets, spinach, broccoli, parsley, wheat germ, and olives.
- Mushrooms are excellent for boosting the immune system, having antimicrobial and antiviral properties.
- Red-purple color fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, cherries, peppers, raspberries, red apples, aubergines and red radicchio are rich in antioxidants that purify the body of toxic substances.
- Honey is excellent for the improvement of symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections.
- Citrus fruits such as lemon, grapefruit, orange, mandarin are rich in vitamin C, which contributes to immune defense by supporting various cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune system.