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Shigellosis and Pregnancy Synopsis

The disease Shigellosis is infectious and is caused by a group of bacteria called Shigella. Some people may be infected by these bacteria but show no symptoms even though they can pass it to others. To stop the spreading, one should practice proper hygiene measures like washing hands with soap. Otherwise, the bacteria are likely to infect other people. It has several commons symptoms, some of which include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. The symptoms start within two to three weeks after the Shigella bacteria infects a person (Parisot, Jolivet, Boukhari, & Carles, 2016). Shigella is one of the major causes of dysentery in the world and one of the severe causes of complications in neonatal care and obstetrics. Even though there are no vaccines to prevent these bacteria, there are several measures that can be adopted to reduce the spread of Shigellosis. These include washing hands regularly with soap and properly disposing of the diapers of a child who has Shigellosis. Additionally, people should avoid drinking water from untrusted sources like ponds and lakes. Due to the complications caused by these bacteria, many researchers were prompted to work on the pathogenesis of these diseases, preventions, control, and cures.

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Moreover, to determine these, the researchers carried out an experiment in the French tropical environmental area called Guiana. The key objective of this experiment was to describe the way shigellosis brings complications during neonatal care and obstetric. The goal of this experiment was for people to understand the dynamics of these bacteria so as to know how to avoid the disease or if possible treat it (Parisot, Jolivet, Boukhari, & Carles, 2016). The experiment’s goals are to provide an avenue for other scientists to research the same matter and if they can make a breakthrough it would be better for humanity as a whole. They also had an aim of determining the antibiotic resistance to the shigellosis bacteria.

During the period between 2000 and 2014, Saint-Laurent du Maroni Hospital found shigellosis by using maternal stools of pregnant women and cultures of neonates. To find the pattern of occurrence of shigellosis, they used medical files to identify several factors. Some of these factors included: whether the antibiotics were prescribed and whether there are any complications in obstetric and neonatal appearance. From the experimental approach, it was found that one was said to be hospitalized if they stayed in a hospital for more than 24 hours. Others were outpatients. During the 14th and 22nd weeks of gestation, if one had both uterine contraction and cervical changes it was considered a miscarriage. In the last weeks of gestation, if there were both uterine contractions and cervical changes, it confirmed a high risk of giving birth prematurely (Parisot, Jolivet, Boukhari, & Carles, 2016). According to CDC reproductive health maternal and infant health, one out of ten infants born in the U.S. had preterm infections in 2014. Additionally, they presented preterm births as the main contributor to infant mortality. In conclusion, most preterm-related deaths occured among babies born very early preterm, usually before 32 weeks. Preterm birth also proves to be the leading cause of long-term neurological disabilities in children. Saint-Laurent du Maroni Hospital had a local ethic committee that approved the study to be done on the locals.

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The hypothesis stating that one is said to be hospitalized if he or she exceeds 24 hours of stay and some are manageable as outpatients is concluded to be true. The results state that thirty-three patients out of the thirty-seven observed were hospitalized and four patients out of thirty-seven were managed as outpatients. The mean hospital stay was more than 24 hours (4.8 days). This is in accordance with the hypothesis, thus, the hypothesis is accepted (Parisot, Jolivet, Boukhari, & Carles, 2016). The hypothesis stating that during the 14 and 22 weeks of gestation if one had both uterine contractions and cervical changes it was considered a miscarriage was concluded to be true. That is, episodes of shigellosis during pregnancy seem to trigger uterine contractions and cervical modifications in some cases, potentially leading to late miscarriages or preterm births. According to the results, cervical changes were associated with uterine contractions in fourteen out of seventeen patients showing a high probability of late miscarriages or premature births. This is in accordance with the hypothesis, thus, the hypothesis is accepted.

The hypothesis to test whether the bacteria Shigella was susceptible to the antibiotics was found to be compatible with the results. In the test experiment, the researchers found that three out of twelve cases of the women presenting a risk of preterm birth gave birth prematurely despite tocolytic treatment. They also identified three cases of mother-to-child transmission, thereby, showing that the treatment was successful. This phenomenon follows from the conclusion that obstetric and neonatal complications are potentially severe. Neonatal transmission may be a birth defect, which could occur during or before birth, following maternal bacteremia (Parisot, Jolivet, Boukhari, & Carles, 2016). Consequently, it can happen during delivery, bacteria can also be passed when using genital equipment and by direct contact.

Furthermore, improving the paper requires one to identify the limitations and devise ways to curb them. For instance, the limitations of using hospitals for consultation to determine the cases of shigellosis were unlikely to represent every case of shigellosis among pregnant women. Therefore, to improve this experiment, they should not use the medical files from the previous data, instead they should carry out the experiments tentatively by themselves. This move will help them find their own results to use in the verification of their other cases. An individual can also improve the paper by taking the test samples from people in different localities, not just the French Guiana (Parisot, Jolivet, Boukhari, & Carles, 2016). The area coverage could include places like Africa and Asia. The decision is likely to avail more information on the bacteria regarding its occurrences, most prone areas, and the ways to prevent the disease.

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The importance of the study of shigellosis in pregnant women in medical bacteriology/mycology is that it makes it possible for bacteriologist to understand its clinical manifestation like diarrhea, vomiting abdominal pain, fever, and convulsion. The study also helps in understanding the pathogenesis of the organism. For instance, the infection starts when the Shigella is ingested from contaminated feces, and when the organism passes through the small intestine, an individual may experience diarrhea. The inflammation of the colitis and invasion of the bacteria in the large intestine marks the presence of the Shigella bacteria. It will also help in understanding the clinical presentations of the bacteria, which include mild to moderate dehydration, watery diarrhea, and vomiting. It can also have a clinical representation of dysentery, which includes stools with mucus and blood. The study helps in understanding the structure, classification, and antigenic types of bacteria: Shigella belongs to the family of enterobacteriaceae. Shigella is divided into four species. The first one is S dysenteriae which is serogroup A consisting of 12 serotypes (Parisot, Jolivet, Boukhari, & Carles, 2016). Additionally, there is S flexneri which is in serogroup B consisting of 6 serotypes. S. boydii falls in serogroup C and has 18 serotypes. Moreover, S sonnei falls in serogroup D with a single serotype. The study helps in understanding the importance of antibiotic treatment in most instances where shigellosis is moderate or severe. The treatment can help reduce complications and disease transmission especially in mother to child cases. More so, the initiation of appropriate antibiotic treatment is found to lower the chances of preterm births and late miscarriages in women. This study also helps in understanding several measures that one should take in controlling Shigella bacteria. These measures include observing public health, such as providing safe and abundant water for use at home, proper disposal of fecal matter, and taking precautions during child delivery by washing hands and maintaining hygiene to avoid disease transmission by direct contact.

This paper is also important to medical bacteriology since it provides the basis for the study of the Shigella-shigellosis. It has provided a background for the study and, therefore, other medics who would want to continue with the research will continue with ease. The study has also identified some gaps that would enable the medical bacteriologists to improve on, so as to establish adequate data. The study has also shown that there is room for research so as to find the vaccine for the disease since it has only established how to prevent it through improvement of hygiene (Parisot, Jolivet, Boukhari, & Carles, 2016). It will also reduce child mortality and morbidity since it will enlighten both the medics and the patient on good hygiene practices that will reduce the susceptibility of the disease.

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In conclusion, the study tested its hypothesis using the correct methodology and experimental procedures and found out that all the hypotheses were accepted. One hypothesis stated that one is said to be hospitalized if he or she exceeds 24 hours and some are manageable as outpatients. The next one argued that during the 14th and 22nd weeks of gestation if one had both uterine contractions and cervical changes it was considered a miscarriage. Finally, the bacteria Shigella was found to be susceptible to the antibiotics, in that chances of disease transmission from mother to the child were reduced. In some cases, it was found that rehydration is important for diarrhea treatments. With adequate hydration, shigellosis limits its own growth, thus, the antibiotic is determined by the severity of the disease, the age of the patient, and the likelihood of further transmission of the infection. Proper antibiotic treatment decreases the length of illness from approximately 5-7 days to approximately 3 days and also minimizes the period of Shigella excretion after symptoms have reduced.

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