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Chapter 6 : Bacterial Pathogens
This chapter gives adequate information about bacterial pathogens and their host relationships and provides a general understanding of their biological traits and how they can cause work-related infections, especially laboratory-acquired infections (LAIs), when mishandled. It presents a synopsis of pathogenic bacteria that infect humans in their workplace, whether in the laboratory, industrial, or health care setting. The chapter discusses mechanisms that cause damage in bacterial infections. Some pathogenic bacteria, such as Shigella spp., which produce human dysentery, have evolved to trigger premature or unscheduled apoptosis in the host cells they infect. Knowledge of the mechanism of action of toxinogenic bacterial toxins helps in understanding certain disease processes of pathogenic bacteria. Compliance with recombinant-DNA guidelines is required when pathogenic bacteria or their genes or gene products are used. The chapter talks about classic human pathogens. Although Bacteroides spp. are members of normal gut and oral florae, work in the laboratory with these bacteria should be at biosafety level (BSL)-2 because they are known to cause human disease and can carry antibiotic resistance markers. Cutaneous anthrax is the most commonly acquired form in humans. The pathogenic bacteria Yersinia, Francisella, and Pasteurella have animal reservoirs as their natural hosts and produce serious diseases in humans.