Brandy Lauder Case Study

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Brandy Lauder broke a toe and had to get orthopedic surgery to get it repaired. She was then prescribed antibiotics for ten days. The antibiotics depleted the bacteria that kept Clostridium difficile under control, which caused her to get a debilitating infection. She first got diarrhea and then went into shock. Her intestines swelled up and she had to get surgery to give room to her swollen and blood-deprived organs.

The bacterium that caused her infection was Clostridium difficile. The bacteria already lived in her colon, but it was kept under control by other bacteria in the colon.

C. difficile gets past innate immune barriers by secreting toxins A and B (Solomon). Toxins A and B attack intestinal epithelial cells, which causes a proinflammatory
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Brandy could have let her physician know that she was having diarrhea, which could have prevented her from going into shock.

A commensal relationship is one where there are two organisms. One organism benefits and the other organism receives no benefit and is not harmed. People are inclined to refer our relationship with our microbes as mutualism, because they think bacteria benefit from living in/on our bodies. However, people do not realize that some bacteria can be opportunistic and cause great harm to the human body.

Surface tissues, like the skin and mucous membranes, are normally colonized by microbes; more specifically, the nails, eyes, genitalia, and gastrointestinal tract contain microbes (Singh and Kapoor 63-65). The internal tissues, like the blood, brain, and muscle do not normally have microbiota (Singh and Kapoor 63). The upper digestive tract produces quick peristalsis and contains bile, which are not favorable conditions for the microbes (Singh and Kapoor 70). There are relatively few resident microbes in the stomach, because it is a hostile and acidic environment (Singh and Kapoor 70). The small intestine contains few microbes due to its function of breaking down food and absorbing its nutrients. Microbes cannot thrive in such environment because of the presence of digestive enzymes that break down food; there is not much need
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As mentioned earlier one of the benefits of having bacteria in the gut is polysaccharide digestion, meaning that polysaccharides that are not able to be digested with the enzymes produced by a person would remain in the food until it reaches the colon and could be processed by the bacteria that reside there (D 'Argenio 98). Other than the variety of different foods that a person can not digest, therefore still present when it reaches the large intestine in the digestive tract, there are not many alternative options for the bacteria to still have a food

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