What is staphylococcal enteritis? | Gastrointestinal system diseases | NCLEX-RN | Khan Academy

What is staphylococcal enteritis? | Gastrointestinal system diseases | NCLEX-RN | Khan Academy


– Let’s say you have a piece of chicken that’s been lying on the counter top, un-refrigerated for a few days. That chicken will start to spoil, and as it spoils, some bacteria
will start to grow on it. This could be many
different types of bacteria, but the one that I want
to focus on in this video is called Staphylococcus aureus. This bacteria is responsible for causing a type of food poisoning known as Staphylococcal enteritis. If you’ve ever had food poisoning, you’ll know that the many
symptoms include things like Diarrhea, vomiting and nausea,
dehydration and a fever. Let’s say you eat this piece of chicken, and it enters your gastrointestinal tract. So, besides your mouth and esophagus, the first thing it’ll
enter is your stomach. The stomach contains a
very acidic environment. This can be pretty useful,
because it can be used to aid in the digestion of proteins, and it can also be used to
kill off nasty pathogens. This acidic environment is
actually pretty extreme. So a lot of bacteria can’t survive in it. The Staphylococcus aureus
bacteria is no different. So maybe you eat some
of that chicken, right? That bacteria ends up in your stomach. That bacteria may start to die off, but it’s actually pretty sneaky. It’ll actually start to
release these chemicals called Enterotoxins. These Enterotoxins can survive
the acidic environment. So, even if the bacteria
starts to die off, the Enterotoxins will still be around. They can then make their way
into the small intestine. So we have a lot going on here, so let’s actually focus on a small portion of the small intestine in this little box. On the left, we have the
wall of the small intestine. This space over here, is
really just the Lumen. The Lumen is just the interior
space of the small intestine where the food and the
water will pass through. Here, across this green layer, you have those epithelial cells. These will be responsible
for digesting and absorbing the food and water that goes through. Now, the enterotoxin actually
enters the small intestine. When it enters the small intestine, this is when you start to
see a lot of the symptoms. One thing to keep in mind is that this Enterotoxin is also
referred to as a super antigen. An antigen is something that
the immune system may recognize as characteristic of some
kind of foreign particle or foreign pathogen. Maybe you have a T-cell over here. When it encounters that
antigen, it will start to release these chemicals called Cytokines. Now, antigens don’t usually
activate every single T-cell they encounter, because
they’re pretty specific. Super antigens, however, are not specific. They will activate many,
many, many more T-cells. Now, you have this overwhelming release of all of these cytokines. These cytokines can
then go on to do a bunch of different things: One, they can actually
prevent a lot of these epithelial cells from doing their job. That is, they prevent them from absorbing all that food and water. So all of that stuff
that you ate and drank will just pass through as diarrhea. They can also trigger some of the vomiting centers of your brain to force you to vomit that stuff out. Because of all this water
isn’t being absorbed into your system due to the
vomiting and diarrhea, you’re going to experience
some dehydration as well. So, this is how a lot of
those symptoms can arise just because you have
only the enterotoxin. Note that the bacteria isn’t
even in the small intestine. So, let’s say you’re experiencing
all of these symptoms. You may go to the doctor
to confirm what pathogen, exactly is causing
these symptoms to occur. So, when you go to the
doctor, they’re actually going to collect some stool samples. That stool sample will
then be sent off to a lab where they’ll evaluate its contents. So remember, you may not
actually have the bacteria in your system, because that bacteria died in your stomach. What they may look for,
instead, are the enterotoxins. So maybe they find these
enterotoxins in your stool and there’s a pretty
good chance that you have Staphylococcal enteritis. Then how can we treat it? Well, like all forms of food poisoning and gastroenteritis,
one of the best things you can do is to just drink
a lot of water and fluids. This is really to overcome the dehydration that you may be experiencing. Another thing you can
do, and this is something you could even consider
if you have other forms of gastroenteritis or food poisoning is to adopt what’s called the “BRAT diet”. This is really just a synonym for bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. The reason why it might
be a good idea to consider going on this diet while
you have these symptoms is because all of these
foods are very low in fiber. Why is that important to us? Well, fiber actually adds a lot of bulk to the stuff that we’re processing in our gastrointestinal system. So, the more bulk that you’re
trying to digest and absorb, the harder it is for your
gastrointestinal system to really process all of that food. Therefore, if you eat these
foods that are low in fiber, you won’t be adding as much bulk, and your system will be able to process them more easily. Now, hopefully, you won’t
have to stay on this diet for too long, because usually, this type of food poisoning
doesn’t last very long. The vomiting typically
lasts up to 24 hours, and the other symptoms typically resolve in about two to three days. And of course, the best
way to really avoid getting this type of food poisoning is to eat clean food. Make sure you’re always storing the food appropriately, make sure
you’re refrigerating your food, or freezing your
food whenever necessary. Then of course, cooking
your food really well, and drinking clean water.

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