Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

CDC: Proportion of increased-risk deceased organ donors on rise

(HealthDay)—Among deceased organ donors, there has been an increase in the proportion at increased risk for transmitting hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and HIV to recipients, according to research published ...

Genetics

PopPUNK advances speed of bacterial pathogen surveillance

Differences in genetic diversity among bacterial pathogens correlate with clinically important factors, such as virulence and antimicrobial resistance, prompting the need to identify clusters of similar bacterial strains. ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

How to train the body's own cells to combat antibiotic resistance

Drug-resistant superbugs have threatened human health for decades. The situation is getting worse because of the shortage of new antibiotics. But what if we changed the way we aim to treat them, and trained our cells to kill ...

Medical research

Producing vaccines without the use of chemicals

Producing vaccines is a tricky task – especially in the case of inactivated vaccines, in which pathogens must be killed without altering their structure. Until now, this task has generally involved the use of toxic chemicals. ...

HIV & AIDS

Innovative way to block HIV runs into a roadblock

Taking aim at a promising molecular target can combat the spread of retroviruses that can cause blood cancer and AIDS—but at the risk of leaving the host vulnerable to infections by other viral pathogens, a new Yale study ...

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Pathogen

A pathogen (from Greek πάθος path "suffering, passion", and γἰγνομαι (γεν-) gignomai (gen-) "I give birth to"), infectious agent, or (more commonly) germ, is a biological agent that causes disease or illness to its host. There are several substrates and pathways whereby pathogens can invade a host; the principal pathways have different episodic time frames, but soil contamination has the longest or most persistent potential for harboring a pathogen.

The body contains many natural defenses against some of the common pathogens (such as Pneumocystis) in the form of the human immune system and by some "helpful" bacteria present in the human body's normal flora. However, if the immune system or "good" bacteria is damaged in any way (such as by chemotherapy, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), or antibiotics being taken to kill other pathogens), pathogenic bacteria that were being held at bay can proliferate and cause harm to the host. Such cases are called opportunistic infection.

Some pathogens (such as the bacterium Yersinia pestis, which may have caused the Black Plague, the Variola virus, and the Maleria protozoa) have been responsible for massive numbers of casualties and have had numerous effects on afflicted groups. Of particular note in modern times is HIV, which is known to have infected several million humans globally, along with the Influenza virus. Today, while many medical advances have been made to safeguard against infection by pathogens, through the use of vaccination, antibiotics, and fungicide, pathogens continue to threaten human life. Social advances such as food safety, hygiene, and water treatment have reduced the threat from some pathogens.

Not all pathogens are negative. In entomology, pathogens are one of the "Three P's" (predators, pathogens, and parasitoids) that serve as natural or introduced biological controls to suppress arthropod pest populations.

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