Immunology

Masterswitch discovered in body's immune system

Scientists have discovered a critical part of the body's immune system with potentially major implications for the treatment of some of the most devastating diseases affecting humans.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Verbal autopsies capture more accurate burden of disease in Uganda

Training community health workers to perform verbal autopsy interviews captured more accurate and complete data about the number and causes of deaths in a rural sub-county of Uganda than current health facility-dependent ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Drug-resistant TB cured with new approaches in post-war DRC

A high proportion of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) cases can be cured in conflict-affected communities with molecular diagnostics, shorter treatment periods and socioeconomic incentives, according to the results of ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

High rates of MenB vaccination advised in university outbreaks

(HealthDay)—Achieving high serogroup B meningococcal (MenB) vaccination coverage is recommended following university-based outbreaks of meningococcal disease caused by serogroup B, according to a study published online ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Model for improving campylobacter management

A refined model for understanding the source of campylobacter infections may be a key management tool for public health officials around the world.

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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.

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