Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Tanzania identifies mystery illness as 'rat fever'

A mysterious disease that killed three people in Tanzania has been identified as leptospirosis or "rat fever", a bacterial infection commonly spread by the rodents, the East African nation's government said Monday.

Gastroenterology

Q&A: Functional dyspepsia can significantly affect quality of life

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I have dealt with digestive issues for much of my 30s. Ulcers run in my family. My doctor said that while I could have an ulcer, testing could determine if it is functional dyspepsia. What is the difference, ...

Medical research

Unprecedented case series advances promise of phage therapy

An international team of researchers, led by scientists at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh, report promising results from the largest case series yet of patients treated ...

Medical research

Restoring airway integrity in cystic fibrosis patients

Cystic fibrosis is a rare genetic disease which can cause very serious symptoms. In particular, patients suffer from chronic bacterial infections that can lead to respiratory failure. It is caused by mutations in the CFTR ...

Genetics

The genetic underpinnings of severe staph infections

A common culprit of skin and respiratory infections, Staphylococcus aureus is highly unpredictable. Between 20 and 30 percent of people carry quiet colonies on their skin and in their nostrils, which seldom cause problems ...

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Infection

An infection is the detrimental colonization of a host organism by a foreign species. In an infection, the infecting organism seeks to utilize the host's resources to multiply, usually at the expense of the host. The infecting organism, or pathogen, interferes with the normal functioning of the host and can lead to chronic wounds, gangrene, loss of an infected limb, and even death. The host's response to infection is inflammation. Colloquially, a pathogen is usually considered a microscopic organism though the definition is broader, including parasites, fungi, viruses, prions, and viroids. A symbiosis between parasite and host, whereby the relationship is beneficial for the former but detrimental to the latter, is characterised as parasitism. The branch of medicine that focuses on infections and pathogens is infectious disease. "When infection attacks the body, anti-infective drugs can help turn the tide of battle. Four types of anti-infective drugs exist: antibacterial, antiviral, antitubercular, and antifungal. A secondary infection is an infection that occurs during or following treatment of another already existing primary infection.

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