An often fatal infectious disease that is caused by the bacterium Clostridium tetani, which usually enters the body through a puncture, a cut, or an open wound. Tetanus leads to profound painful spasms of muscles, including ‘locking’ of the jaw so that the mouth cannot open, and death. The C. tetani bacteria releases a toxin that affects the motor nerves, which stimulate the muscles. Prevention involves immediately cleaning and covering any open wound and getting a tetanus vaccination. Regular boosters are necessary to ensure immunity. Unvaccinated people who get puncture wounds or cuts should get tetanus immunoglobulin and a series of tetanus shots immediately; those who have been immunized but are unsure of the date of their last tetanus shot should get boosters. Also known as lockjaw.
A condition that is due usually to low blood calcium (hypocalcemia) and is characterized by spasms of the hands and feet, cramps, spasm of the voice box (larynx), and overactive neurological reflexes. Tetany is generally considered to result from very low calcium levels in the blood. However, tetany can also result from reduction in the […]
A family of broad-spectrum antibiotics effective against a remarkably wide variety of organisms. Bacteria susceptible to tetracycline include H. flu (Haemophilus influenzae), strep (Streptococcus pneumoniae), Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydia psittaci, Chlamydia trachomatis, and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (the cause of gonorrhea). Tetracycline is also used to treat nongonococcal urethritis (due to Ureaplasma), Rocky mountain spotted fever, typhus, chancroid, […]
A substance that is a possible carcinogen (cancer-causing agent) used in the production of polymers such as polytetrafluoroethylene. The US government in 2000 classified tetrafluoroethylene as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” In laboratory animal studies of tetrafluoroethylene, cancer was observed in multiple organs of multiple species following long-term inhalation exposures.
- Tetralogy of Fallot
Ventricular septal defect (VSD)A hole between the two bottom chambers, the ventricles, of the heart that permits oxygen-poor blood from the right ventricle to mix with oxygen-rich blood from the left ventricle. Pulmonary stenosisNarrowing of the outlet to the pulmonary artery area with an abnormal pulmonary valve impeding blood flow from the right ventricle to […]
A sequence of 4 base pairs. (Bases are the building blocks of DNA.) Expansion of a tetranucleotide repeat (CCTG) in the ZNF9 gene causes type 2 myotonic dystrophy.