bacteremia(redirected from bacteriemia)
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, invasion of the bloodstream by virulent bacteria that multiply and discharge their toxic products. The disorder, which is serious and sometimes fatal, is commonly known as blood poisoning.
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the presence of bacteria in the blood. Bacteria enter the blood of man and animals through injuries of the skin and mucous membranes, and also when there are pathological changes in the lymph nodes, vascular system, and so on. Bacteremia accompanies many infectious diseases, such as leptospirosis, typhus, relapsing fever, and tularemia; it is especially characteristic of intestinal infections—typhoid, paratyphoid, and other salmonelloses; brucellosis, and others—in which it causes generalization of the pathologic process. Bacteremia is most intensely expressed during the acute (generalized) period of a disease. Bacteremia develops under the action of medium and large doses of ionizing radiation as a result of disruption of natural immunity. There is a decrease in the production of antibodies, a decrease in the number of leukocytes and of their phagocytic activity, and also changes in the permeability of tissue barriers and a number of other factors. Bacteremia is a characteristic complication of radiation sickness. As the organism overwhelms the disease (activation of the phagocytic function of the leukocytes, accumulation of antibodies, and so on), bacteremia decreases to the point of complete disappearance.