Immunology

How does the immune system develop in the first days of life?

Within the womb, a human fetus benefits from the protection of the placenta, limiting their contact with pathogens. However, once born, babies face a myriad of germs completely new to their bodies. Their immune system must ...

Health

Mortality rate higher for US rural residents

A recent study by Syracuse University sociology professor Shannon Monnat shows that mortality rates are higher for U.S. working-age residents who live in rural areas instead of metro areas, and the gap is getting wider.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Predicting influenza epidemics

Researchers at Linköping University, Sweden, have developed a unique method to predict influenza epidemics by combining several sources of data. The forecasts can be used, for example, when planning healthcare provision, ...

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Infectious disease

An infectious disease is a clinically evident disease resulting from the presence of pathogenic microbial agents, including pathogenic viruses, pathogenic bacteria, fungi, protozoa, multicellular parasites, and aberrant proteins known as prions. These pathogens are able to cause disease in animals and/or plants. Infectious pathologies are usually qualified as contagious diseases (also called communicable diseases) due to their potential of transmission from one person or species to another. Transmission of an infectious disease may occur through one or more of diverse pathways including physical contact with infected individuals. These infecting agents may also be transmitted through liquids, food, body fluids, contaminated objects, airborne inhalation, or through vector-borne spread.

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 however, is not synonymous with an infectious disease, as an infection may not cause important clinical symptoms or impair host function.

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