Microbe Mission/Diseases List

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This page is for detailed information about each disease on the Microbe Mission Diseases List.

The event Microbe Mission specifies a list of diseases that may be tested on. The 2017 list may be found here. Lists from past years are linked in the Resources section.



Viral Diseases

Some different viruses

Viruses are nonliving obligate intracellular parasites that utilize either DNA or RNA as their genetic material. A virus usually has a proteinaceous capsid studded with different glycoproteins, which facilitate entry into a host cell. The capsid itself protects the genetic material of the virus.

Viruses are usually extremely species-specific, rarely infecting different species. Virus replication may be halted by antiviral medications such as aciclovir. Furthermore, vaccines, comprised of heat-killed or live attenuated viruses and/or antigens, may be injected into a host animal to provoke a humoral immune response. Antibodies produced will circulate and memory T/B cells proliferate, protecting the host from further infection.

Viruses are usually classified by the Baltimore Classification System, which separates viruses into groups by nucleic acid properties:

  • Type I viruses are double-stranded DNA viruses
  • Type II viruses are single-stranded DNA viruses
  • Type III viruses are double-stranded RNA viruses
  • Type IV viruses are positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses
  • Type V viruses are negative-sense single-stranded RNA viruses
  • Type VI viruses are RNA retroviruses
  • Type VII viruses are DNA retroviruses

AIDS

Caused by an RNA retrovirus, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which emerged in the 1980s. HIV attacks CD4+ T-cells of the immune system, crippling its ability to defend against opportunistic infections. Several classes of retroviral medications may be given to patients, but no cure is currently available. Late-stage AIDS is marked by opportunistic infections and Kaposi's Sarcoma, a cancer caused by a human herpesvirus. AIDS is an STD, although blood transfusions and needle sharing also spreads the disease. The disease is generally diagnosed with ELISA.

Chicken Pox and Shingles

Caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), a herpesvirus. Chickenpox is marked by red itchy rashes and a fever in children, and much more serious fevers in adults. However, chickenpox will not usually manifest itself twice. Shingles is more commonly seen in the elderly, and causes itchy rashes on places like the chest. Herpesviruses display lysogeny, and so shingles may recur throughout life. There exists a vaccine for VZV. The disease is spread by airborne transmission as well as from the scabs. PCR and Tzanck Smearing may be used to identify infection, and aciclovir derivatives may be used to treat the disease.

Common Cold

Caused by about 200 different types of rhinoviruses, making medication/vaccines impossible to develop. Causes symptoms of runny noses, fever, general illness that goes away after a few days. NSAIDs will usually aid in painkilling, but the recovery itself is natural. The disease is not serious in most cases.

Dengue Fever

Five types of flaviviruses, which also cause Yellow Fever. Dengue is a potentially fatal disease spread by mosquitoes. Symptoms include fever, rash, vomiting, and sores, but may also include Dengue hemorrhagic fever. The resulting low platelet count and hypotension leads to Dengue Shock Syndrome. There exists no vaccine. NSAIDs should not be used. During hemorrhaging, intravenous fluids should be administered.

Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

Caused by one of the filoviruses, a group notorious for causing highly lethal hemorrhagic fevers. Initial fever is replaced with vomiting and diarrhea, followed by systemic organ failure and massive hemorrhaging, followed by death 1-2 weeks later. Bats are the natural vectors for the disease; the virus may also be spread by bodily fluids. Treatment includes oral rehydration. An antiviral drug has been approved for use in emergencies. The disease is endemic to sub-Saharan Africa, where mortality rates approach 90%. Poor quarantine practices in the region hamper efforts to fight the disease.

Hepatitis

Five separate viruses, collectively known as the hepatoviruses. One of the viruses is a satellite virus. The viruses affect the liver, causing fever, vomiting, pains, and potential liver failure, resulting in jaundice. In addition, infection may lead to chronic liver cirrhosis and eventually hepatocarcinoma.

Influenza

Measles

Mumps

Mononucleosis

Polio

Rabies

Rubella

Small Pox

West Nile Virus

Yellow Fever

Bacterial Diseases

Anthrax

Botulism

Cholera

Chlamydiasis

Dental Caries

Gonorrhea

Legionnaire's Disease

Lyme Disease

MRSA

Peptic Ulcer Disease

Pertussis

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Strep throat

Syphilis

Tetanus

Tuberculosis

Fungal Diseases

Athlete's Foot

Dutch Elm Disease

Ergotism

Histoplasmosis

Early Potato Blight

Ringworm

Thrush

Protozoan & Algal Diseases

Malaria

Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning

Estuary Associated Syndrome

Giardiasis

Cryptosporidiosis

Prionic Diseases

Scrapie

Kuru

Parasitic Worms

Hookworm

Pinworm

Schistosomiasis

Tapeworm

Trichinosis

Diseases from Past Years

Information about diseases that were on previous years' lists but have since been removed. Occasionally these are tested on by inexperienced or less dedicated event supervisors who mistakenly use past lists or reuse old questions indiscriminately.

Typhus

Resources

2017 list
2012 list
2011 list