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Tissue Pathology - An Overview

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The abnormal cell behavior is called tissue pathology. This leads to cell migration, proliferation, transdifferentiation, tissue repair, and death.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Utkarsh Sharma

Published At October 7, 2022
Reviewed AtMarch 28, 2023

Introduction:

Cell proliferation could be due to both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. This further stimulates or inhibits cell growth. Cell growth can be marked by growth factors, injury, or deformation of tissues. Hence, cell inhibitors and the deficiency of these factors cause cell growth. Invasion of pathogens directly or indirectly into the system causes illness. The primary responsibility of these pathogens is inflammation in host cells.

What Are the Extrinsic Factors Influencing Pathogens for Infection?

External factors influencing the normal biology of internal cells are:

  • Atmospheric Gas Constitution: Certain gasses aid the proliferation or retardation of pathogens. For example, carbon dioxide regulates the activity of certain microbes as well as controls the growth of specific microbes.

  • Hygiene Factors: Proper disinfected environment stops pathogenic activity.

  • Cross-contamination: If proper sterilization is not maintained, the chances of cross-infection are high.

  • Temperature: Every rise in temperature raises the catalytic activity of pathogens.

  • Humidity: High water content in the atmospheric gas promotes pathogens.

Other microbes in the atmosphere retards the growth of pathogens by producing their proteins which act as an antibiotic and bacteriocin in nature.

What Are the Intrinsic Factors Promoting Pathogenic Activity in the Body?

Intrinsic factors of pathogenic activity are:

  • pH.

  • Food microbiology.

  • Nutritive value.

  • Water activity.

  • Temperature.

  • Chemicals.

  • Toxicity or infection.

What Are the Pathogenic Factors Affecting Tissue Repair?

Pathogenic toxins can alter wound healing. It could be both extrinsic and intrinsic factors.

  • Extrinsic Factors: This is primarily caused by infection and further delays the reparative process.

  • Intrinsic Factors: Like the anti-inflammatory response of host cells.

  • Nutritional Factors: Delayed wound healing occurs due to a deficiency of vitamins and proteins. For example, vitamin C deficiency inhibits collagen synthesis, delaying wound healing.

  • Mechanical Factors: Foreign objects and mechanical pressure delay healing.

  • Extent of Injury: It determines the span of the healing process. Followed by scar formation (fibrosis).

  • Site of Injury: This determines the tissue regeneration process.

  • Production of Collagen: Excessive production of collagen or raised granulation tissue above the repaired scar. For example, keloid.

  • Underlying Conditions: Underlying chronic inflammatory disease, which develops other illnesses. For example, rheumatoid arthritis.

What Are the Pathological Conditions Caused by Unknown Factors?

Illness of undefined etiology is seen in both acute and chronic conditions.

Acute Conditions:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: It causes inflammation in the joints. This condition is caused by viruses such as Epstein- Barr virus, Rubella, and Parvovirus B19.

  • Alzheimer's Disease: Alzheimer's disease is caused by the degeneration of neurons in the brain. It causes dementia and is more prevalent in senile patients.

Chronic Conditions:

  • Cervical or Penile Cancer: Seen in patients with multiple sexual partners.

  • Basal Cell Carcinoma of the Skin: Ultraviolet radiation seems to be a potent carcinogen.

Do All Pathogens Cause Tissue Damage?

No, not all pathogens cause tissue damage. Pathogens can be symptomatic or asymptomatic in nature. Different pathogens show different characteristics. Microbes replicating themselves in host cells are found to be less toxic.

Pathogens of Viral Origin: There are viruses that merely cause diseases, like enterovirus and reovirus. Cell death or programmed cell death or apoptosis can be observed in Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Adenovirus, Herpes virus, Influenza, and Picornavirus. Rickettsiae and Chlamydia also damage the cells. Viruses like Chlamydia, Mycoplasma, Mycobacteria, Rickettsiae, and Brucella do not form toxins, hence causing any tissue damage.

Pathogens of Bacterial Origin: Infections like poliomyelitis and influenza show mild symptoms during antibody response. The human body is made up of many bacterias, especially in the mouth, gut, and intestines. The interference of these bacteria has been of beneficiary use and less toxicity. Bacterias in the nasopharynx region, namely Meningococci and Pneumococci, have proven to be harmless. But there are pathogens that do cause toxicity, like Mycobacterium lepra, leprosy, and tubercle bacilli. These bacterias in the bloodstream cause damage and kill the macrophages and replicate. Certain bacteria like Staphylococci and Streptococci show phagocytosis. Staphylococcus causes food infection. Plaque formation in teeth is caused by Streptococcus mutans. Certain strains of Staphylococcus aureus cause multi-system diseases like toxic shock syndrome (TSS). Shigella dysenteriae, which causes watery diarrhea, can replicate further to cause multi-system disorders, like renal failure, thrombocytopenia, microangiopathic hemolytic anemia, hemorrhagic colitis (HC), and hemolytic urea syndrome (HUS).

It is observed that the toxins released from bacteria have high molecular weight and are antigenic, whereas the fungal toxins released are of low molecular weight and are not antigenic. The presence of protein toxins (enzymes) released from Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria shows phagocytosis.

What Are the Pathogens Causing Infection Through External Mediums?

Bacillus anthracis found in bovine animals. This is ingested through spores of Anthrax toxin. This infection can cause edema and septicemia and eventually lead to death. Though the infection is predominant in animals, cross-infection through wool and hair, bovine bones of infected animals passed through transplantation of bone during the surgical procedure, and fertilizer cannot be discarded.

Clostridium tetani spores can germinate in the infected wound of humans. Spores can be found in soil, feces, necrotized tissue, septical abortion, or the umbilical stump of newborns.

C.botulinum is found in soil and vegetables; consumption can cause neurological toxicity like vertigo, cranial nerve palsies, and respiratory failure leading to death. Toxins produced in some food particles like mushrooms cause hallucinations. Glandular fever causing enlargement of the spleen is seen in the pathogenicity of the immune system (swelling of lymph nodes).

What Are the Symptoms of Tissue Pathology?

  • Edema.
  • Stress.

  • Hemorrhage.

  • Shock.

  • Placental inflammation or fetal death.

  • Cross-infection.

  • Toxicity.

  • Multi-organ dysfunction.

  • Scars.

  • Tumors.

  • Immunosuppression.

  • Hormonal imbalance.

  • Cancer (for example, Papillomavirus, Herpes virus, Leukemia virus).

  • Electrolyte imbalance.

  • Morbidity and mortality.

What Are the Tests for Diagnosis of Pathogens?

  • Genomic Sequencing: These tests are used to study genetic changes. There are various methods to carry out this study. Due to their structural complexity, only small stretches of DNA strands can be studied at a time. One such method is the ‘clone-by-clone’ approach. Other methods, like breaking the genomic sequence into tiny pieces called the ‘whole genome shotgun’ method, are also practiced. This method is tiring as it takes longer to decode the DNA.

Modern PCR, multiplex PCR (mPCR), quantitative PCR(qPCR) or RT-PCR, and droplet PCR: These tests evaluate bacterial and viral cultures.

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): Magnetic resonance imaging is used to detect developmental anomalies, trauma, tumors, stroke, multiple sclerosis, dementia, and other infections.

  • Culture of the Samples: Samples like blood, sputum, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid are used to detect the presence of pathogens.

  • Colorimetric Sensors: It is used to detect nanoparticles.

What Are the Treatment Option for Tissue Pathogenicity?

Administration of drugs, vaccines, gene editing, stem cell therapy, transplant, and radiation therapy in debilitating illnesses is the cure.

Antibacterial Treatments Are:

  • Erythromycin: Treated against Staphylococci, Streptococci, and Pneumococci.

  • Clarithromycin: Used against Mycobacterium avium complex(AVM).

  • Roxithromycin: Treated against Legionella.

Antiviral Treatments Are:

  • Idoxuridine: Used for herpes encephalitis and herpetic ulcerations of the cornea.

  • Acyclovir: Treated against the Herpes virus.

Antimalarial Treatments Are:

  • Chloroquine: Treated against malaria.

Antiprotozoal Treatments Are:

  • Metronidazole: Treated for Giardia lamblia.

  • Furazolidone: Used against Trichomoniasis.

  • Suramin Sodium: Treated for African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness).

Antimicrobial Treatments Are:

  • Trimethoprim: For treating Streptococci, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella Shigella, and Proteus.

  • Nitrofurantoin, Furazolidone, Nitrofurazone and Nifuroxime: Used against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, Candida albicans and Trichomonas vaginalis.

Antifungal Treatments Are:

  • Clotrimazole: Used for fungal infections like ringworm and athlete’s foot which causes persistent itching.

  • Amphotericin B: Used against infections of Blastomycosis, Histoplasmosis, and Cryptococcosis.

Conclusion:

Pathogenicity of tissues could be trauma-induced, from external sources like soil, vegetables, animals, and air, and from internal primary or secondary infections. Advancement in the field of bio-nano engineering and clinical research and trial of new drugs has contributed to the curability of such pathogenicity.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

What Does Tissue Pathology Testing Involve?

This diagnostic procedure examines and analyzes tissue samples to identify abnormalities or diseases. It is essential for identifying illnesses, assessing their severity, and determining the most effective course of therapy. Tissue pathology testing involves various techniques such as histology, immunohistochemistry, and molecular testing to study the structure, composition, and function of tissues at a microscopic level. By evaluating cellular changes and patterns, tissue pathology testing provides valuable insights for accurate diagnosis and personalized patient care.

2.

Is Histopathology a Promising Career Choice?

For those interested in researching and diagnosing illnesses at the microscopic level, histopathology, a subspecialty of pathology, provides various options. With technological advancements and an increased understanding of disease mechanisms, histopathologists play a crucial role in disease diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment planning. The demand for skilled histopathologists remains steady, and the field continues to evolve, making it an attractive career option. However, anyone considering a histopathology career should be ready for significant training, ongoing education, and industry innovations.

3.

Can One Provide an Example of a Pathology Case?

Pathogen diagnosis typically involves several key steps. The first step is obtaining a suitable clinical sample from the affected individual, such as blood, urine, or tissue. Next, the sample undergoes various laboratory tests, including microscopy, culturing, and molecular techniques, to identify the presence of pathogens. Once the pathogen is identified, additional tests may be performed to determine its characteristics and susceptibility to specific treatments. Finally, the results are interpreted by healthcare professionals to make an accurate diagnosis and guide appropriate treatment strategies for the patient.

4.

What Are the Two Categories of Pathologists?

Bacterial pathogen identification relies on several techniques. Traditional methods include culturing the bacteria on specific media, staining, and microscopy to examine their morphology. Additionally, biochemical tests can help identify key characteristics of the bacteria. Molecular techniques, such as Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and DNA sequencing, are also employed to detect and identify bacterial pathogens by targeting specific genetic markers. Combined with clinical correlation, these techniques aid in the accurate and timely diagnosis of bacterial infections.

5.

How Does Histopathology Differ from General Pathology?

Several methods are available for pathogen identification, each with strengths and limitations. However, nucleic acid amplification techniques, such as PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) and Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS), are widely recognized as highly accurate methods for pathogen identification. These techniques allow for the amplification and analysis of specific genetic markers or entire genomes, enabling the detection and identification of pathogens with high specificity and sensitivity. Targeting specific genetic sequences enhances the accuracy of pathogen identification, contributing to effective disease management and patient care.

6.

What Does MD Signify in the Field of Pathology?

The potential career prospects in the field of pathology are extensive. Pathologists have various opportunities for career advancement and specialization. They can work in diverse settings such as hospitals, research institutions, pharmaceutical companies, and public health agencies. Pathologists can specialize in anatomical, clinical, molecular, forensic, or cytopathology pathology. They can also pursue academic careers, research, or leadership roles in healthcare organizations. With the increasing demand for accurate diagnostics and personalized medicine, pathology offers a promising and rewarding career path.

7.

Are Pathologists Referred to as Doctors?

Yes, pathologists are referred to as doctors. Medical professionals who have finished medical school and pathology-specific training are known as pathologists. They hold an MD (Doctor of Medicine) or DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) degree and are qualified to diagnose diseases and conditions by studying laboratory tests, biopsies, and other samples. Pathologists play a crucial role in patient care by providing accurate diagnoses, guiding treatment decisions, and conducting research to advance medical knowledge in pathology.

8.

What Are the Career Prospects in the Field of Pathology?

The scope of pathology is vast and diverse. Pathologists have various career options available to them. They can work in hospitals, clinics, research institutions, pharmaceutical companies, forensic departments, and public health agencies. They can specialize in specific areas such as anatomical pathology, clinical pathology, hematopathology, molecular pathology, or cytopathology. Pathologists can also pursue academic careers, become consultants, or take on leadership roles in healthcare organizations. Additionally, opportunities for collaboration and advancements in technology continue to expand the scope and potential for pathologists in the future.

9.

Is There a Bright Future for the Field of Pathology?

Yes, there is a promising future in the field of pathology. Pathology is critical in healthcare, providing vital information for disease diagnosis, treatment planning, and patient management. Technological advancements, such as digital pathology, automation, and molecular diagnostics, are transforming the field and improving diagnostic accuracy. Additionally, the growing understanding of personalized medicine and the increasing demand for precision diagnostics further contribute to the expanding opportunities in pathology. With ongoing research, innovation, and the need for skilled pathologists, the field is expected to continue evolving and offering exciting career prospects.

10.

Which Test Is Commonly Used for Pathogen Identification?

The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a common test for identifying pathogens. PCR allows for amplifying and detecting specific DNA or RNA sequences of the pathogen present in a clinical sample. By targeting unique genetic markers, PCR can accurately identify the presence of pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. PCR is highly sensitive and specific and can provide rapid results, making it a widely used technique in clinical laboratories for pathogen identification. It is crucial in diagnosing infectious diseases and guiding appropriate treatment decisions.

11.

What Are the Primary Steps Involved in Pathogen Diagnosis?

The primary steps in diagnosing a pathogen involve a systematic approach. Firstly, a thorough clinical evaluation of the patient's symptoms and medical history guides the diagnostic process. Next, appropriate samples, such as blood, urine, or tissue, are collected from the patient. These samples undergo laboratory testing, including microscopy, culturing, serological assays, and molecular techniques. The exact pathogen causing the illness is then identified by healthcare specialists using the test findings and the patient's clinical presentation. This comprehensive approach helps ensure an accurate and targeted diagnosis for effective treatment.

12.

Which Techniques Are Utilized to Identify Bacterial Pathogens?

Several identification techniques are used for identifying bacterial pathogens. These include traditional methods such as Gram staining, which helps determine the bacterial cell wall characteristics, and biochemical tests to assess metabolic properties. Additionally, serological tests can detect specific antibodies produced in response to bacterial infections. Advanced techniques like molecular methods (e.g., PCR and DNA sequencing) target specific genetic markers to identify bacterial pathogens accurately. Furthermore, MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry is increasingly used for rapid and accurate identification of bacteria based on their unique protein profiles. Combined with clinical correlation, these techniques aid in precise bacterial pathogen identification.

13.

Which Method Is Considered the Most Accurate for Pathogen Identification?

The most accurate method of identifying pathogens depends on the specific context and type of identified pathogen. However, molecular techniques such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and DNA sequencing are generally considered highly accurate. These techniques allow for amplifying and analyzing specific genetic markers or entire genomes, enabling precise identification of pathogens. Additionally, advancements in Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies have further enhanced the accuracy of pathogen identification by providing comprehensive genetic information. Combining molecular techniques with clinical correlation and the expertise of healthcare professionals ensures the most accurate and reliable identification of pathogens.
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Dr. Utkarsh Sharma
Dr. Utkarsh Sharma

Pathology

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