Infectious Diseases

Why excess iron can be dangerous

Iron is a most versatile element. It is essential to many of the enzymes that are the engines for life, and in mammals is also used to carry oxygen on hemoglobin in blood. Remember Popeye and his spinach: all that iron made ...

May 11, 2015
popularity44 comments 0

How World War II spurred vaccine innovation

War and disease have marched arm in arm for centuries. Wars magnify the spread and severity of disease by disrupting populations. As large groups of people move across borders, they introduce and encounter disease in new ...

May 08, 2015
popularity9 comments 0

Scientists 'un-can' the HIV virus

If the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a bit like a hermetically sealed tin can no one has yet been able to break open, the good news is that researchers at the CHUM Research Centre, affiliated with the University of ...

May 04, 2015
popularity247 comments 0

Infectious diseases, also known as contagious diseases or transmissible diseases, and include communicable diseases, comprise clinically evident illness (i.e., characteristic medical signs and/or symptoms of disease) resulting from the infection, presence and growth of pathogenic biological agents in an individual host organism. In certain cases, infectious diseases may be asymptomatic for much or all of their course. Infectious pathogens include some viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, multicellular parasites, and aberrant proteins known as prions. These pathogens are the cause of disease epidemics, in the sense that without the pathogen, no infectious epidemic occurs.

Transmission of pathogen can occur in various ways including physical contact, contaminated food, body fluids, objects, airborne inhalation, or through vector organisms. Infectious diseases that are especially infective are sometimes called contagious and can be easily transmitted by contact with an ill person or their secretions. Infectious diseases with more specialized routes of infection, such as vector transmission or sexual transmission, are usually regarded as contagious but do not require medical quarantine of victims.

The term infectivity describes the ability of an organism to enter, survive and multiply in the host, while the infectiousness of a disease indicates the comparative ease with which the disease is transmitted to other hosts. An infection is not synonymous with an infectious disease, as some infections do not cause illness in a host.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

Latest Spotlight News

How to become a T follicular helper cell

Follicular helper Tcells (TFH cells), a rare type of immune cell that is essential for inducing a strong and lasting antibody response to viruses and other microbes, have garnered intense interest in recent years but the ...

HVTN 505 vaccine induced antibodies nonspecific for HIV

A study by researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Duke University helps explain why the candidate vaccine used in the HVTN 505 clinical trial was not protective against HIV infection ...

A cheaper, high-performance prosthetic knee

In the last two decades, prosthetic limb technology has grown by leaps and bounds. Today, the most advanced prostheses incorporate microprocessors that work with onboard gyroscopes, accelerometers, and hydraulics to enable ...

Take a trip through the brain (w/ Video)

A new imaging tool developed by Boston scientists could do for the brain what the telescope did for space exploration. In the first demonstration of how the technology works, published July 30 in the journal Cell, the researchers ...