Infectious Diseases

Study details a link between inflammation and cancer

A new study from MIT reveals one reason why people who suffer from chronic inflammatory diseases such as colitis have a higher risk of mutations that cause cancer. The researchers also found that exposure ...

Jan 16, 2015
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Skin microbes trigger specific immune responses

New research in mice shows that the immune system in the skin develops distinct responses to the various microbes that naturally colonize the skin, referred to as commensals. A team led by scientists at the National Institute ...

Jan 05, 2015
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Scientists develop compound to fight MRSA

Microbiologists and chemists at the University of South Florida have developed and patented a synthetic compound that has shown antibiotic action against methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, also k ...

15 hours ago
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The adaptability of pathogens

Drug-resistant HIV viruses can spread rapidly. This is the conclusion of a study conducted as part of the SWISS HIV Cohort Study, which is supported by the SNSF. Only the continuous introduction of new drugs can stop the ...

Jan 28, 2015
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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

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