View single post by JoanieReb
 Posted: Thu May 31st, 2007 03:36 am
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Joined: Wed Jan 24th, 2007
Posts: 620

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It's been over a decade since my undergraduate and graduate classes in virology, immunology, and bacteriology - and God knows, the first two fields change so quickly that if you aren't doing active research in them (and I'm not) you're almost lost in the dust every other year.

But, I don't think the basics have changed.  And, if I recall correctly, there are two basic ways that a bacterial infection can become systemic (that is, recurring - I think the medical sciences and the molecular biologies speak slightly different languages, which is good, since physicians have to be able to communicate with laymen better).

The first way is thru continued development of antibiotic resistance by the bacteria; the second is thru the bacteria becoming integrated into a viral vector, thus, becoming virally expressed instead of bacterially expressed.  Since antibiotics didn't even exist at the time of TWBTS, I have assumed that AP Hill's recurring bouts were due to the original bacterial expression "going viral".  Because, the immune system back then should have been able to overcome, with finality, a bacterial infection - or else it would overcome, with finality, the person.  But a viral infection would go dorment and then recur.  If I recall correctly, I was taught to think in terms of "latentecy": if a bacterial infection became latent, then expressed under stress, chances are it had gone viral. 

That's what I meant by going viral.

Anyway, it's a moot point, just one of personal curiousity to me today.  And, I bet if I asked two virolgists about it tomorrow, they'd get into a heated argument and I'd leave in frustration.

I guess all that matters is, Little Powell had big problems because of contracting  gonorrhea when he was a young man....

And, let me just say this, in case what I was saying  sounded like something I hear too often:  People with advanced degrees in the molecular biologies (physiology, microbiology, biochemistry) trying to one-up physicians, and vice versa:  A friend of mine with a Ph'd in biochemistry/molecular biology decided to try out his "Dr." status by signing onto an overseas airflight as "Dr.".  A passenger became ill, the flight list was consulted, and this so-called "Dr." was consulted.  When he admitted his "Dr." was a "Ph'd", the stewardess became furious, how DARE he mislead them!  And she was RIGHT. 

Physicians know how to treat illness in reality.  Researchers only do in theory.

Last edited on Thu May 31st, 2007 05:34 am by JoanieReb

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