Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Parasites: Ticks swim in the skin - Times Online

Similar breaststroke ticks to burrow into the skin of the people. Then they anchor themselves firmly in it. The movement sequences, researchers have been scrutinized.

class=”articlemeta-date”> 30 October 2013

A tick on the skin of a human being A tick on the skin of a human being | © Patrick Pleul / dpa

researchers the Charité Hospital and Harvard University have studied, such as ticks get under the skin of people: with movements similar to those of breaststroke swimmers they drill forward to then firmly drawn. First, the bloodsuckers scratch with their claws jaw to the skin. Then they drill their lower jaw with the barbs in humans or animals, to anchor him there.

this process, the researchers have with film and microscope images at Commons Wood Tick (Ixodes ricinus ) was investigated. This tick can transmit the causative agent of Lyme disease dangerous. The scientists report in the Proceedings B of the Royal Society through their analyzes.


The team had

ticks down on the ears of anesthetized hairless mice and then tracked how those boring through the skin. “The tick connects their swimming movements with the solid anchoring in the host. We know of no other organism, so combining these two processes,” said the now working in Brunswick biologist Dania judges who had a leading role in the research.

tick takes a few minutes to get under the skin

“The process takes several minutes. Sometimes it’s even faster if the tick is quite sure that she has found the right host,” said Judge. Then the animal enshrines there for about a week to draw blood – if it will not be detected and removed before


other suspects often than not, it is not dangerous when removing a tick a piece in the skin get stuck. “Since the hypostome aborts the mandible barbed. Thereof assumes no danger, because there are no pathogens in it,” said Judge.

is known that the causative agent of Lyme disease is transmitted only very rarely in the first 24 hours after a tick bite. Lyme disease can thus be avoided when the body is regularly screened for ticks. “The tick should be removed as soon as possible, disinfect the place, and then should be paid to the physical condition,” said Judge.

meningitis: Causes and Contagion

Meningitis is an inflammation of the brain and spinal cord (meninges). It occurs when germs such as bacteria , viruses , mushrooms or parasites , penetrating the brain. Frequently children or persons are affected with a weakened immune system of meningitis. There are three ways to reach the seed reaches the brain: they often have direct access from sites of infection in the paranasal sinuses or the middle ear. But they can also be washed in a focus of disease elsewhere in the body via the blood. The third option is an open violation of the skull, forming a portal of entry for germs.

The most common pathogens are bacteria . Here are the pneumococci and meningococci in addition to the Haemophilis influenzae of the main causes. However, there are also meningitis that are caused by viruses , for example by herpes virus , by of ticks -borne encephalitis virus or a viral infection in a mumps . The susceptibility to certain germs depends, among other things, the age of the people: pneumococcal, meningococcal, and Haemophilus influenzae are primarily responsible for meningitis in children. Fungal pathogens, such as Cryptococcus and Aspergillus spores cause meningitis usually only in immunocompromised people. Fungal Meningiden are not transferable from person to person.

(Source: AOK)

Often the

meningitis starts like a flu: high fever with , body aches, vomiting, and headache . The headache gradually become more violent, the head can be moved back and finally before ( stiff neck ) is no longer free. With rising fever clouding of consciousness may occur, which may lead to coma. In addition, there may be convulsions and paralysis. Children complain addition to the above symptoms often also severe abdominal pain.

therapy and vaccination

therapy of meningitis differs depending on the agent: meningococcal disease are usually treated with antibiotics such as penicillin G or cefotaxime. Fungal Meningiden certain fungal agents. In a viral meningitis a specific therapy is usually neither possible nor necessary. The only exception is a strong suspicion of a herpes simplex or varicella-zoster infection. In these cases, the drug acyclovir is used. The symptoms are treated with antipyretic and analgesic agents.

Standing Vaccination Committee (STIKO) of the Robert Koch Institute recommends that children receive a vaccination against pneumococcal and Haemophilus influenzae bacteria in the first year of life. At the beginning of the second year of life is to follow a Vaccination against meningococcal disease. However, the vaccine only protects against meningococcal type C

Typical signs of Lyme disease is a red rash ring that spreads around the injection site. Other symptoms include joint and muscle pain, paralysis in the arms or legs, and skin lesions. If the disease is not detected early, late effects such as joint inflammation (arthritis), heart muscle or nerve inflammation are possible.

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