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It is my understanding that tetanus could not survive where there is oxygen...and there is definitley oxygen inside someones mouth....right?
|I would think a possible infection might occur after a deep bite, but not tetanus|
To thrive tetanus needs oxygen, that is why if a wound bleeds tetanus is not a concern.
|Tetanus is a disease of the elderly and those who otherwise have poor circulation (like diabetics).|
|If the bite did not even break the skin then it is not an issue at all.|
|I still feel that the evidence clearly supports the simpler explanation: the age bias is a reflection of vax status. If that weren't true, and poor circulation really was the more significant risk factor, you'd expect to see more cases among vaccinated elderly with poor circulation. As it is, tetanus is almost exclusively a disease of the unvaccinated.|
|Some Unique Aspects of Infections in the Elderly
Risk factors and common infections. Older persons generally
have greater susceptibility to infections than younger
|Several studies have shown
that certain infections occur more often in elderly persons; morbidity
and mortality from infections are also higher that they
are among younger adults [8–11]. Urinary tract infections,
lower respiratory tract infections, skin and soft tissue infections,
intra-abdominal infections (cholecystitits, diverticulitis, appendicitis,
abscesses), infective endocarditis, bacterial meningitis
tuberculosis, and herpes zoster appear to have a special predilection
for elderly persons.
|Clostridium tetani infections are almost invariably found in anaerobic wounds, but in many cases the site of entry of the spores is minor and not found by the clinician. Nevertheless, the bacterium must interact with the host tissues and evade the immune response for a sufficient period to allow toxin production.|
Could we call it 50/50 (or 30/30/30)? "The elderly have a high incidence of tetanus because they're undervaccinated AND have poor circulation and weakened immue systems"?
|There are factors at play with diabetics and the elderly outside of vaccination status.|
|I could maybe agree to 50/50 if it were phrased like this:
"The elderly have a high incidence of tetanus because they're undervaccinated AND due to a higher age-specific incidence among the elderly of Type 2 diabetes and other vascular diseases capable of producing ischemic ulcers which may provide an entry point for tetanus spores". But I'd still reserve the right to quibble about it being exactly 50/50, of course
|I believe that "immune response" in this statement: "the bacterium must interact with the host tissues and evade the immune response for a sufficient period to allow toxin production" refers to those aspects of the innate response you were invoking (in the other thread) when you said: The immune system just clears a lot of stuff out [ ] as "gunk".|
I've read some case reports on wounds that harbored both staph and tetanus...I'm guessing the staph proliferated, creating a pocket of dead WBCs, and that was how the tetanus spores got a chance to germinate?
Is pus an anaerobic environment? If so, that's another part of how a generally cruddy immune system could up one's chances of developing tetanus, I think.
|How does that toxin benefit tetanus?|
|The occasional human casualty is an innocent bystander.|
Are we making an assumption that the elderly are under vaccinated?
|Do we know the vax status for each case of tetanus each year?|
|I know many elderly through my fraternal organization and they see the doctor six or more times a year. Each visit is an opportunity to vaccinate and tetanus seems to be the one vax that has been pushed on adults in the past|
I think tetanus is a soil bacteria mainly because it lives in the guts of animals, though.
|Either way, I'm unable to find anything about what tetanus "uses" it's toxin for in any environment. Maybe I'm not using the right keywords.|
It could be that it lives in the guts of animals mainly because it is a soil bacteria.
I'm betting it's because nobody knows. Besides tetanospasmin (which produces the clinical symptoms of tetanus) the bacterium also produces another, tetanolysin, and they don't even know for sure what that does in humans.
Well, it looks like we're on our own guessing what's going on here. Which is quite surprising, really. I figured the life cycle of this famous bacteria would be a subject about which a great deal was known. Oh, well.
|I've read a bunch of things that said "Tetanus can be found living in the soil, especially heavily manured soil." Assuming the "especially" part is based on lots of good data, I'm going to guess that tetanus has probably adapted to surviving by moving from the guts of animals, to the soil, back into the gut, etc. Just a guess, though.|
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