Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Researchers identify seasonal peaks for foodborne infections

Each year, thousands of pounds of food are wasted and billions of dollars in food sales lost because of recalls tied to foodborne infections. Using a newly developed approach, researchers identified seasonal peaks for foodborne ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

When COVID-19 meets flu season

As if the COVID-19 pandemic isn't scary enough, the flu season is not far away. How severe will the flu season be as it converges with the COVID-19 outbreak? What can we do to prepare?

Immunology

Viral infection: Early indicators of vaccine efficacy

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) researchers have shown that a specific class of immune cells in the blood induced by vaccination is an earlier indicator of vaccine efficacy than conventional tests for neutralizing antibodies.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Why don't antibodies guarantee immunity?

With millions of COVID-19 cases reported across the globe, people are turning to antibody tests to find out whether they have been exposed to the coronavirus that causes the disease. But what are antibodies? Why are they ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Incidence of enteric infections due to pathogens up or stable

(HealthDay)—In 2019, the incidence of enteric infections caused by eight pathogens increased or remained stable, according to a study published May 1 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity ...

Health

Could Legionnaires' bacteria lurk in idled buildings?

Many businesses are closed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and some building managers have shut off water and air conditioning to conserve resources. Unfortunately, warmth and lack of clean water flow can contribute ...

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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.

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