dysentery


dysentery
dysenteric, adj.
/dis"euhn ter'ee/, n.
1. Pathol. an infectious disease marked by inflammation and ulceration of the lower part of the bowels, with diarrhea that becomes mucous and hemorrhagic.
2. diarrhea.
[1350-1400; < ML dysenteria < Gk, equiv. to dysénter(a) bad bowels (see DYS-, ENTERON) + -ia -IA; r. ME dissenterie < OF]

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Infectious intestinal disorder.

It is characterized by inflammation, abdominal pain and straining, and diarrhea, often containing blood and mucus. Dysentery is spread in food or water contaminated by feces, often by infected individuals with unwashed hands. Bacillary dysentery (shigellosis), caused by Shigella bacteria, may be mild or may be sudden, severe, and fatal. Fluid loss causes dehydration. Advanced stages include chronic large-intestine ulceration. It is treated with antibiotics, fluid replacement, and sometimes blood transfusion. Amoebic (or amebic) dysentery, caused by the amoeba Entamoeba histolytica, has two forms, one much like bacillary dysentery and the other chronic and intermittent, sometimes with large-intestine ulcerations. It is treated with drugs that kill the amoeba.

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      infectious disease characterized by inflammation of the intestine, abdominal pain, and diarrhea with stools that often contain blood and mucus.

      There are two major classifications of dysentery: bacillary and amebic, caused respectively by bacteria and by amoebas. Bacillary dysentery, or shigellosis, is caused by bacilli of the genus Shigella. Symptomatically, the disease ranges from a mild attack to a severe course that commences suddenly and ends in death caused by dehydration and poisoning by bacterial toxins. After an incubation period of one to six days, the disease has an abrupt onset with fever and the frequent production of watery stools that may contain blood. Vomiting may also occur, and dehydration soon becomes obvious owing to the copious loss of bodily fluids. In advanced stages of the disease, chronic ulceration of the large intestine causes the production of bloody stools. The most severe bacillary infections are caused by Shigella shigae (also called S. dysenteriae type 1), which is found chiefly in tropical and subtropical regions. S. flexneri, S. sonnei, and S. boydii are other Shigella bacilli that cause dysentery. The treatment of bacillary dysentery is based on the use of antibiotics (antibiotic). The administration of fluids and, in some cases, blood transfusions (blood transfusion) may be necessary.

      Amebic dysentery, or intestinal amebiasis, is caused by the protozoan Entamoeba histolytica. This form of dysentery, which traditionally occurs in the tropics, is usually much more chronic and insidious than the bacillary disease and is more difficult to treat because the causative organism occurs in two forms, a motile one and a cyst, each of which produces a different disease course. The motile form causes an acute dysentery, the symptoms of which resemble those of bacillary dysentery. The cyst form produces a chronic illness marked by intermittent episodes of diarrhea and abdominal pain. Bloody stools occur in some patients. The chronic type is the more common of the two and is marked by frequent remissions and exacerbations of symptoms. The chronic form may also produce ulcerations of the large intestine and pockets of infection in the liver. Both forms of amebic dysentery are treated with drugs that specifically kill the amebic parasites that thrive in the intestines.

      Dysentery is transmitted through the ingestion of food or water that has been contaminated by the feces of a human carrier of the infective organism. The transmission is often by infected individuals who handle food with unwashed hands. The spread of amebic dysentery is often accomplished by people who are carriers of the disease but who at the time show no symptoms. Dysentery is commonly found when people are crowded together and have access only to primitive sanitary facilities. Spread of the disease can be controlled by boiling drinking water and by adequately disposing of human waste to avoid the contamination of food.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dysentery — ICD 10 A03.9, A06.0, A07.9 ICD 9 004 …   Wikipedia

  • Dysentery — Dys en*ter*y, n. [L. dysenteria, Gr. ?; dys ill, bad + ?, pl. ?, intestines, fr. ento s within, fr. ? in, akin to E. in: cf. F. dysenterie. See {Dys}, and {In}.] (Med.) A disease attended with inflammation and ulceration of the colon and rectum,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dysentery — late 14c., dissenterie, from O.Fr. disentere (13c.), from L. dysenteria, from Gk. dysenteria, coined by Hippocrates, from dys bad, abnormal, difficult (see DYS (Cf. dys )) + entera intestines, bowels (see INTER (Cf. inter )). Related: Dysenteric …   Etymology dictionary

  • dysentery — is pronounced in BrE as three syllables, and in AmE as four syllables, with stress on the first in both cases …   Modern English usage

  • dysentery — ► NOUN ▪ a disease in which the intestines are infected, resulting in severe diarrhoea with blood and mucus in the faeces. ORIGIN Greek dusenteria, from dusenteros afflicted in the bowels …   English terms dictionary

  • dysentery — [dis′ən ter΄ē] n. [ME dissenterie < OFr < L dysenteria < Gr < dys , DYS + enteron, pl. entera, bowels: see INTER ] any of various intestinal inflammations characterized by abdominal pain and frequent and intense diarrhea with bloody,… …   English World dictionary

  • dysentery — n. 1) to come down with dysentery 2) an attack of dysentery 3) amebic dysentery * * * amebic dysentery an attack of dysentery to come down withdysentery …   Combinatory dictionary

  • Dysentery — Inflammation of the intestine, often with pain, diarrhea, bloody stools, etc. It is usually caused by infestation of the bowel by an ameba. Dysentery can be fatal, usually due to severe dehydration. Treatment includes rapid rehydration, sometimes …   Medical dictionary

  • dysentery — Synonyms and related words: African lethargy, Asiatic cholera, BM, Chagres fever, German measles, Haverhill fever, abscess, acute articular rheumatism, ague, alkali disease, amebiasis, amebic dysentery, anemia, ankylosis, anoxia, anthrax, apnea,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • dysentery — n. an infection of the intestinal tract causing severe diarrhoea with blood and mucus. Amoebic dysentery (amoebiasis) is caused by the protozoan Entamoeba histolytica and results in ulceration of the intestines and occasionally in the formation… …   The new mediacal dictionary