One century ago, the statistics on the cause of death in the human being was very different from those presented in 1998. For example, in 1900, the main causes of death were tuberculosis and pneumonia (22 %); meanwhile in the 1990s the first cause of death were cardiovascular diseases and cancer (adding together 55 %).

However, just in two years numbers have dramatically changed. The old mortal illnesses, such as diarrhoeal diseases, pneumonia and tuberculosis begin to gain land in the incidence of problematic illnesses. In addition, the viral illnesses, as AIDS, dengue, encephalitis, etc. have emerged and advanced considerably in the last years.

The bacterial illnesses had declined radically since the discovery of the antibiotics, but because of the convergence of diverse factors (cause the emergence of the transmittable ills is a multifactorial problem), these illnesses have reemerged with  a new pattern of resistance toward the modern medicaments. That these microorganisms are mutants is unquestionable. I would not be alarmed if the real figures of the problem were hidden, and I consider my duty to post this serious problem.

Why am I doing this? Because I am concerned in relation to your protection against these modern perils. Each species of bacteria, virus and fungus, pathogens and non-pathogens represents a potential danger for all the living beings.

I would like you to be on the warning, and I would like you to put on the right and proper procedures against them.

This page is concerned with the emergent illnesses. I hope that its content be useful to make better your way of life.


Escherichia coli's mutant

Escherichia coli is the scientific name for a very common species of bacteria, which is a normal resident in the human intestine.  

In November 1996, Medscape informed us about an outbreak of gastrointestinal disease, characterized by diarrhea, vomit, fever and prostration, and bloody urine disease. When investigators found the microorganism causing both illnesses, they went into amazement when distinguished that the responsible of the infection was Escherichia coli. The search of its beginning carried them until an apple juice that had not been pasteurized.

The detailed analysis revealed that the bacterium was a mutant derived from the innocuous strain. It was named Escherichia coli O157:H7.

The true problem arose when doctors saw the high resistance of the new strain toward all kinds of common antibiotics. The explanation for this wide resistance is that the bacteria, by being normal inhabitants of the intestine, have been exposed constantly to the action of the antibiotics used for other infections, doing that only those bacteria, which already showed an inherent resistance, survived by natural selection. Since the selection was carried out through many years of usage of diverse antibiotics, the normal Escherichia coli developed a broad resistance to most of medications.


Nevertheless, why to worry about it now?

At present, the water and many fruits and vegetables that we ingest could be polluted with fecal sediments, especially because we have increased the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.

The alert has been spread again, and we should to communicate this warning to our neighbors and friends: 

  • We must not to consume rotten vegetables or rotten fruits. In addition, we must not to eat fruits or vegetables without a previous wash.

  • Just as a preventive measurement, preferably we should always drink boiled or purified water.

  • It is not prudent to use commercial disinfectants for water; therefore, usually they contain silver salts that are highly toxic.

  • Do not drink non-pasteurized fruit juices.

  • When the first signs of intestinal or urinary illness are presented, see your doctor.




Besides HIV-1 type, there are three new strains of the letal virus. Scientists have recognized the M ("major") group, the O ("outlier") group, and the N ("new") group. Because of the similarities between a specific gene from the N strain and the SIV (the simian viral strain), virologists have concluded that SIV is the evolutionary origin of the human types.

What it is alarming is that the strains are multi-resistant to the drugs used to date.


Since 1997 to date, important mutations have occurred in the following microorganisms:

·   Staphylococcus aureus ------------------- Hospital-bacteria acquired.

·   Enterococcus spp. -------------------------- Hospital-bacteria acquired.

·   Candida albicans ---------------------------- Hospital-fungus acquired.

·   Streptococcus pneumoniae ------------ Multi-drug resistant.

·   Salmonella spp. ----------------------------- Multi-drug resistant (e.g. Salmonella typhi).

·   Shigella spp. ---------------------------------- Multi-drug resistant (Shigella dysenteriae).

·   Gonococcus spp. ---------------------------- Ciprofloxacin and other drugs resistant.

·   Mycobacterium tuberculosis ----------- Multi-drug resistant.

·   HIV ------------------------------------------------- Virus of AIDS. Multi-drug resistant.

·   Aspergillus spp. (fungus) ---------------- It was not pathogenic! Multi-drug resistant.

·   Plasmodium vivax -------------------------- Multi-drug resistant. Malaria protozoan.

Many microorganisms have developed high resistance to medicines, as virus of Dengue, which in 1999 affected more than 140 000 people killing about 200 people in Monterrey, N. L., Mex. Only the more common mutants were listed above.

Author: Biol. Nasif Nahle/Biology Cabinet Staff


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