Dictionary > Dysentery

Dysentery

Definition
noun
A disorder marked by the inflammation of the intestines particularly the colon, and hemorrhagic diarrhea
Supplement
Dysentery is a condition in which the intestines, especially the colon, became inflamed often due to the presence of pathogenic bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and parasitic worms. It is accompanied by fever, abdominal pain, rectal tenesmus, foul-smelling stool, and hemorrhagic diarrhea (frequent stools containing blood). The large intestine is the common site of infection and the pathogens and the parasites reach the site when contaminated food, water, or objects are ingested. The presence of these pathogens activates the inflammatory immune response, which in turn causes cramps due to edema (i.e. water leaking from the intestinal capillaries) and damage to the intestinal lining due to the release of cytokines as a natural immune defense mechanism of the host as well as due to the cytotoxin released by certain pathogens, e.g. Shigella. Other pathogens, such as viruses, attack the intestinal cells causing direct damage to the intestine. Due to the damaged intestinal lining there is a malabsorption of nutrients and water. The excess water in the intestinal lumen is released during fecal evacuation and therefore results in a watery stool.
Word origin: Greek enteron (intestine)
See also:

Related term(s):

  • Amoebic dysentery
  • Japanese dysentery
  • Spirillar dysentery
  • Swine dysentery
  • Winter dysentery of cattle


    You will also like...

    Selective Breeding
    Selective Breeding

    Gregor Mendel's studies into Monohybrid and Dihybrid crossing and Charles Darwin's study of evolution and natural select..

    Types and Causes of Brain Damage
    Types and Causes of Brain Damage

    This tutorial describes the different types and causes of brain damage. Find out how genetics, physical injury, lack of ..

    Homo Species
    The Homo Species

    The evolution of the species of the genus "Homo" led to the emergence of modern humans. Find out more about human evolut..

    Angle Oak Tree
    Seed Plants

    Seed plants are vascular plants. They differ from the other vascular plants in producing seeds that germinate into a new..

    Freshwater lake ecosystem
    Freshwater Producers and Consumers

    Freshwater ecosystem is comprised of four major constituents, namely elements and compounds, plants, consumers, and deco..

    Freshwater Ecology
    Freshwater Ecology

    Freshwater ecology focuses on the relations of aquatic organisms to their freshwater habitats. There are two forms of co..