Science Olympiad DISEASE DETECTIVES

2014 Science Olympiad
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Terms in this set (...)

Chronic
being long-lasting and recurrent or characterized by long suffering
Societal
relating to human society and its members
Epidemiological
Death rates decline as condition and medicine improve
encephalitis
inflammation of the brain caused by West Nile Virus
panademic
refers to an outbreak of a disease occuring over a large geographic area, possibly worldwide (pan- means entire dem means population, and -ic means pertaining to) For example, the worldwide spread of AIDS is pandemic.
protistans
mostly unicellular, eukaryotic, some autotrophs (algae), some heterotrophs (ingestion-protozoa), can be pathogenic
fundamental
being or involving basic facts or principles
West Nile
..., a virus transmitted by mosquitoes who hae bitten birds, causes possible encephalitis, but most recover without treatment
Outbreak
More cases of a particular disease than expected in a given area or among a specialized group of people over a particular period of time
Epidemic
The occurrence in a community or region of cases of an illness (or an outbreak) with a frequency clearly in excess of normal expectancy.
Pandemic
An epidemic over a very wide area (several countries or continents) and usually affecting a large proportion of the population.
Cluster
An aggregation of cases over a particular period closely Grouped in time and space, regardless of whether is more than the expected number
Case Definition
Limits the following characteristics: time, person and place for data collection
Risk Factor
Personal characteristics (age, sex, health) behavior or lifestyle including diet, an environment exposure, or a family trait (genetic) that might cause or add to a health problem.
Attack Rate
The rate that a group experienced an outcome or illness equal to the number sick divided by the total number in that group.
Relative Risk
A comparison of the risk of disease in the exposed group compared to the risk of disease in the unexposed group.
Case Fatality
The ratio of the number of deaths caused by a specified disease to the number of diagnosed cases of that disease.
Odds ratio
Calculated to evaluate the possible agents and vehicles of transmission. Odds for exposure cases divided by odds of for controls.
Surveillance
The systematic and ongoing collection, analysis and interpretation of health data to gain knowledge of the patterns of disease, injury and other health problems so as to work towards their prevention and control.
Case Control Study
A study type that uses cases (with the health problem) and compares them with controls (without the health problem) to find out what may have caused the problem. A type of retrospective study.
Cohort Study
A study type using two populations: one that had contact with the agent causing the disease and another that had not had contact.
Cross-Sectional study design
a survey, "snapshot in time"
Ecological study design
comparisons of geographical locations
Randomized controlled trial study design
human experiment;
Epidemic Threshold
The point where the disease in question becomes widespread (an epidemic)
Incidence Rate
The number of individuals who fall ill with a certain disease during a defined period, divided by the total population.
Prevalence
The number of all current (existing) cases in a population during a certain time period.
Morbidity
All cases fatal and nonfatal
Mortality
Measure indicating what proportion of the entire population die from each disease per year
Endemic disease
Present at a continuous level throughout a population / Geographic area; constant presence of an agent / health condition within a given geographic area / population; refers to the usual prevalence of an agent / condition.
Incubation period
Time between when a person comes into contact with a pathogen and when they show the first symptoms or signs of disease.
Agent
A causative factor, such as a biological or chemical agent that must be present (or absent) in the environment for disease occurrence in a suspectible host.
Fomite
A physical object that serves to transmit an infectious agent from person to person.
Reservoir
An ecological niche where a pathogen lives and multiplies.
Vector
An animal, most often an insect, that transmits disease.
Zoonosis
An infectious disease that is transmissible from animals to humans
Plague
A serious, potentially life threatening infectious disease that is usually transmitted by the bites of rodent fleas. Three types: bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic.
Chain of infection
Includes: infectious agent, reservoir, portal of exit, mode of transmission, portal of entry and susceptible host. http://o.quizlet.com/i/x7fEJDrZV82KBMxWkEPyhQ.jpg
Portal of entry
Respiratory (breathing or through the air); Ingestion (food, eating or water, drinking); Dermal contact (skin or absorption); Blood (insect bite or needle stick);
Modes of Transmission
Direct or Indirect contact; Direct can be skin to skin or soil to skin and also droplet spread by sneezing, coughing or talking; Indirect can be by vector (insect), vehicle (water, biologic product, fomites) or airborne.
Triad of Analysis
Person, place and time; Agent, host, environment
Epi-Curve
A histogram that shows the course of an outbreak by plotting the number of cases according to the time of onset.
Epi-Curve, Point Source
Occurs when people are exposed to the same exposure over a limited, well defined period of time. The shape of the curve commonly rises rapidly, contains a peak, followed by a gradual decline.
Epi-Curve, Continuous Common Source
Occurs when exposure to the source is prolonged over an extended period of time and may occur over more than one incubation period. The down slope of the curve may be very sharp if the common source is removed or gradual if outbreak exhausts itself.
Epi-Curve, Propagated (Progressive source)
Occurs when a case of disease serves later as a source of infection for subsequent cases and those subsequent cases in turn serve as sources for later cases. Shape of curve usually contains successively higher peaks. Person-Person contact.
Sensitivity
1. In disease epidemiology, the ability of a system to detect epidemics and other changes in disease occurrence. 2. In screening for a disease, the proportion of persons with the disease who are correctly identified by a screening test. 3. In the definition of a disease, the proportion of persons with the disease who are correctly identified by defined criteria.
Specificity
The proportion of persons without a disease who are correctly identified by a test. The specificity is the number of true negative results divided by the sum of the numbers of true negative plus false positive results.
R-0
Susceptible population divided by the Threshold Population; average number of infections per infected person.
infectivity
the ability of an infectious agent to cause infection, measured as the proportion of persons exposed to an infectious agent who become infected.
pathogenicity
ability to cause disease; the ability of an organism to cause disease (ie, harm the host). This ability represents a genetic component of the pathogen and the overt damage done to the host is a property of the host-pathogen interactions
virulence
degree of pathogenicity; The ability of any agent of infection to produce disease. The virulence of a microorganism (such as a bacterium or virus) is a measure of the severity of the disease it is capable of causing.
temporality
cause / exposure must precede the effect / outcome
natality
the ratio of births to the general population, birth rate.
etiology
the study of all factors that may be involved in the development of a disease, including the susceptibility of the patient, the nature of the disease agent, and the way in which the patient's body is invaded by the agent; the cause of a disease.
risk
the probability that an event will occur. In epidemiology, it is most often used to express the probability that a particular outcome will occur following a particular exposure.
Case Fatality Rate (CDC)
The proportion of persons with a particular condition (cases) who die from that condition. The denominator is the number of incident cases; the numerator is the number of cause-specific deaths among those cases. (Note: For longer periods of time, a more specific term may be used: e.g. 5-year survival rate)
Epidemiology
Epidemiology is the study (or the science of the study) of the patterns, causes, and effects of health and disease conditions in defined populations. It is the cornerstone of public health, and informs policy decisions and evidence-based medicine by identifying risk factors for disease and targets for preventive medicine. Epidemiologists help with study design, collection and statistical analysis of data, and interpretation and dissemination of results (including peer review and occasional systematic review). Epidemiology has helped develop methodology used in clinical research, public health studies and, to a lesser extent, basic research in the biological sciences.
outbreak
(localized epidemic) - more cases of a particular disease than expected in a given area or among a specialized group of people over a particular period of time.
pandemic
An epidemic occurring over a very wide area (several countries or continents) and usually affecting a large proportion of the population.
Public Health Surveillance
the systematic collection, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of health data to gain knowledge of the pattern of disease occurrence in order to control and prevent disease in the community.
cluster
an aggregation of cases over a particular period esp. cancer & birth defects closely grouped in time and space regardless of whether the number is more than the expected number. (often the expected number of cases is not known.)
Relative risk
estimates the extent of the association between an exposure and a disease. It estimates the likelihood of developing the disease in the exposed group as compared to the unexposed group. Relative risk is not expressed in negative numbers.
A relative risk >1.0
indicates a positive association or an increased risk. This risk increases in strength as the magnitude of the relative risk increases.
A relative risk = 1.0
indicates that the incidence rates of disease in the exposed group is equal to the incidence rates in unexposed group. Therefore the data does not provide evidence for an association.
zoonosis
An infectious disease that is transmissible from animals to humans.
reservoir
An organism that is the host for a parasitic pathogen or that directly or indirectly transmits a pathogen to which it is immune.
vector
an animate intermediary in the indirect transmission of an agent that carries the agent from a reservoir to a susceptible host. An organism that transmits the infection as a mosquito transmits the malaria protozoans
animals
Definition in terms of infectious agents
prevalence
In epidemiology, the prevalence or prevalence proportion is the proportion of a population found to have a condition (typically a disease or a risk factor such as smoking or seat-belt use).
fomite
a physical object that serves to transmit an infectious agent from person to person.
acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
Infectious disease syndrome that is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Characterized by the loss of a normal immune response and increased susceptibility to opportunistic infections and some cancers.
acquired immunity
Specific immunity that develops after exposure to a particular antigen or after antibodies are transferred from one individual to another.
acyclovir
Synthetic drug with antiviral activity against herpes simplex virus. Often used to treat genital herpes.
aerobe
Organism that can grow in the presence of atmospheric oxygen.
airborne transmission
Transmission of an infectious organism in which the organism is truly suspended in the air and travels a meter or more from the source to the host. Chicken pox, flu, measles, and polio are examples of diseases that are caused by airborne agents.
allergen
Substance that can induce an allergic reaction or specific susceptibility.
amantadine
Antiviral compound sometimes used to treat influenza type A infections.
amebiasis
Infection with amoebae. Usually refers to an infection by Entamoeba histolytica. Symptoms are highly variable, ranging from an asymptomatic infection to severe dysentery.
amphotericin B
Antibiotic used to treat systemic fungal infections and also used topically to treat candidiasis.
anaerobe
Organism that can grow in the absence of atmospheric oxygen.
anthrax
Infectious disease of animals caused by ingesting the spores of Bacillus anthracis. Can occur in humans.
antibiotic
Microbial product, or its derivative, that kills or inhibits the growth of susceptible microorganisms.
antibody
Glycoprotein produced in response to an antigen. Antibodies have the ability to combine with the antigen that stimulated their production.
antibody-mediated immunity
Immunity that results from the presence of antibodies in blood and lymph.
antigen
Foreign (nonself) substance to which lymphocytes respond.
antimicrobial agent
Agent that kills or inhibits the growth of microorganisms.
antiseptic
Chemical applied to tissue to prevent infection by killing or inhibiting the growth of pathogens.
antitoxin
Antibody to a microbial toxin. An antitoxin binds specifically with the toxin, neutralizing it.
arenavirus
Type of RNA virus. Lassa fever is caused by an arenavirus.
autogenous infection
Infection that results from a patient's own microflora.
B-cell
Type of lymphocyte derived from bone marrow stem cells that matures into an immunologically competent cell under the influence of the bone marrow. Following interaction with an antigen, a B-cell becomes a plasma cell, which synthesizes antibodies.
bacillus
Rod-shaped bacterium.
bactericide
Agent that kills bacteria.
binary fission
Asexual reproduction in which a cell separates into two cells.
biologic transmission
Disease transmission in which an infectious organism undergoes some morphologic or physiologic change during its passage through the vector.
botulism
Form of food poisoning caused by a neurotoxin produced by Clostridium botulinum. Sometimes found in improperly canned or preserved food.
broad-spectrum drug
Chemotherapeutic agent that is effective across a wide range of different types of pathogens.
candidiasis
Infection caused by a fungus of the genus Candida. Typically involves the skin.
carrier
Infected individual who is a potential source of infection for other people.
cell-mediated immunity
Immunity that results from T-cells contacting foreign or infected cells and destroying them.
chemotherapeutic agent
Compound used in the treatment of disease that kills or inhibits the growth of microorganisms and does so at concentrations low enough to avoid doing damage to the host.
chicken pox
Highly contagious skin disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Acquired by droplet inhalation into the respiratory system.
cholera
Infectious disease caused by Vibrio cholerae.
coccus
Bacterium that is roughly spherical in shape.
common cold
Acute, self-limiting, and highly contagious viral infection of the upper respiratory tract.
communicable disease
Disease associated with an agent that can be transmitted from one host to another.
complement system
Group of circulating plasma proteins that plays a major role in an animal's immune response.
compromised host
Host with lowered resistance to infection and disease for any reason (for example, malnutrition, illness, trauma, or immunosuppression).
conjugation
Form of gene transfer and recombination in bacteria that requires direct cell-to-cell contact.
conjugative plasmid
Plasmid that carries the genes for sex pili and can transfer copies of itself to other bacteria during conjugation.
contact transmission
Transmission of an infectious agent by direct contact of the source or its reservoir with the host.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
Chronic, progressive, fatal disease of the central nervous system caused by a prion.
diphtheria
Acute, highly contagious childhood disease caused by Corynebacterium diphtheriae.
disinfectant
Agent that kills, inhibits, or removes microorganisms that may cause disease.
DPT (diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus) vaccine
Vaccine containing three antigens that is used to immunize people against diphtheria, whooping cough, and tetanus.
endemic disease
Disease that is commonly or constantly present in a population, usually at a relatively constant low level.
epidemic
Sudden increase in occurrence of a disease above the normal level in a particular population.
epidemiologist
Person who specializes in epidemiology.
epidemiology
Study of the factors determining and influencing the frequency and distribution of disease, injury, and disability in a population.
eukaryotic cell
Cell that has its genetic material (DNA) enclosed by a nuclear membrane.
facultative anaerobe
Microorganism that does not require atmospheric oxygen, but grows better in its presence.
fungicide
Agent that kills fungi.
genital herpes
Sexually transmitted disease caused by the herpes simplex type II virus.
giardiasis
Intestinal disease caused by the protozoan Giardia lamblia.
Gram stain
Differential staining procedure that allows categorization of bacteria into two groups (gram-positive and gram-negative) based on their ability to retain crystal violet when decolorized with an organic solvent such as ethanol.
hantavirus
Type of RNA virus. Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome and Korean hemorrhagic fever are caused by viruses in the genus Hantavirus.
harborage transmission
Disease transmission in which an infectious agent does not undergo morphologic or physiologic change during its time inside the vector.
hepatitis A (infectious hepatitis)
Type of hepatitis that is transmitted by fecal-oral contamination. It affects mostly children and young adults, especially under conditions of overcrowding and poor sanitation. Caused by the hepatitis A virus.
hepatitis B (serum hepatitis)
Type of hepatitis caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Transmitted through body fluids.
herd immunity
Resistance of a population to spread of an infectious organism due to the immunity of a high proportion of the population.
host
Body of an organism that harbors another organism. The host provides a microenvironment that supports the growth and reproduction of the parasitic organism.
human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
Retrovirus that is associated with the onset of AIDS.
immune
Protected against a particular disease by either nonspecific or specific immune defenses.
immune response
Response of the body to contact with an antigen that leads to the formation of antibodies and sensitized lymphocytes. Designed to render harmless the antigen and the pathogen producing it.
immunity
General ability of a host to resist developing a particular disease.
immunology
Science concerned with understanding the immune system and the many factors that are involved with producing both acquired and innate immunity.
index case
First disease case in an epidemic within a population.
infection
Invasion of a host by an agent, with subsequent establishment and multiplication of the agent. An infection may or may not lead to disease.
infectious agent
Living or quasi-living organism or particle that causes an infectious disease. Bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa, helminths, and prions are infectious agents.
infectious disease
Change from a state of health to a state in which part or all of a host's body cannot function normally because of the presence of an infectious agent or its products.
inflammation
Localized protective response to tissue injury or destruction. In an acute form, it is characterized by pain, heat, redness, and swelling in the injured area.
influenza (flu)
Acute viral infection of the respiratory tract caused by one of three strains of influenza virus (A, B, and C).
intermediate host
Host that serves as a temporary but essential environment for the completion of a parasite's life cycle.
Koch's postulates
Set of rules for proving that a microorganism causes a specific disease.
Koplik's spot
Lesion of the oral cavity caused by the measles virus.
Legionnaire disease
Pulmonary form of disease caused by infection with Legionella pneumophila.
Lyme disease
Tick-borne disease caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi.
lymphocyte
Type of white blood cell. Lymphocytes transmit chemical signals that help coordinate the immune system.
malaria
Infectious disease caused by the protozoan Plasmodium. Characterized by fever and chills that occur at regular intervals.
measles
Highly contagious skin disease caused by a virus in family Paramyxoviridae. The virus enters the body through the respiratory tract or the conjunctiva. Measles is endemic throughout the world.
microbiota (microbial flora)
Microorganisms that are normally associated with a particular tissue or organ.
morbidity rate
Number of individuals who become ill with a particular disease within a susceptible population during a specified time period.
mortality rate
Ratio of the number of deaths from a particular disease to the total number of cases of the disease.
nonspecific immunity
General defense mechanisms that provide animals with protection from infection and disease but are not targeted at a particular pathogen.
nosocomial infection
Infection produced by a pathogenic agent that a patient acquires during hospitalization or treatment inside another health care facility.
opportunistic organism
Organism that is usually harmless, but can be pathogenic in a compromised host.
pandemic
Increase in the occurrence of a disease in a large and geographically widespread population. Sometimes called a worldwide epidemic.
parasite
Organism that lives on or within another organism (the host). The relationship benefits the parasite and harms the host.
pasteurization
Process of heating milk and other liquids to destroy microorganisms that can cause spoiling or disease.
pathogen
Disease-producing agent.
pathogenicity
Ability to cause disease.
penicillins
Group of antibiotics that are often used to treat infections by gram-positive bacteria.
peptidoglycan
Large polymer that provides much of the strength and rigidity of bacterial cell walls.
period of infectivity
Time during which the source of an infectious agent is disseminating the agent (is infectious).
plague
Acute, infectious disease with a high mortality rate; caused by Yersinia pestis.
plasmid
Circular, double-stranded DNA molecule that can exist and replicate independently of the host cell chromosome or be integrated with it. Although a plasmid is stably inherited, it is not required for bacterial cell growth and reproduction.
poliomyelitis
Acute, contagious viral disease of the central nervous system that can lead to paralysis.
population
Group of organisms of the same species.
prevalence rate
Total number of people infected at one time in a population, regardless of when the disease began.
prion
Infectious particle that is responsible for certain slow-acting diseases such as scrapie in sheep and goats, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. Prions have a protein component, but scientists have not yet detected a nucleic acid component.
prokaryotic cell
Cell that lacks a membrane-delimited nucleus and other membrane-bound organelles. Bacteria are prokaryotic cells.
rabies
Acute infectious disease of the central nervous system caused by an RNA virus of the rhabdovirus group.
reservoir
Site, alternate host, or carrier that harbors pathogenic organisms and serves as a source from which other individuals can be infected.
retrovirus
RNA virus that carries the enzyme reverse transcriptase and forms a DNA copy of its genome during its reproductive cycle.
schistosomiasis
Helminth infection acquired from contact with water containing infected snails.
smallpox
Highly contagious, often fatal disease caused by a poxvirus. Smallpox has been eradicated throughout the world.
source
Location or object from which a pathogen is immediately transmitted to a host.
specific immune response
Collection of several immunological events in which lymphocytes recognize the presence of a particular antigen and act to eliminate it.
spirillum
Rigid, spiral-shaped bacterium.
spirochete
Flexible, spiral-shaped bacterium.
sporadic disease
Disease that occurs occasionally and at random intervals in a population.
superinfection
Bacterial or fungal infection that is resistant to the drug(s) being used to treat it.
T-cell
Lymphocyte derived from bone marrow stem cells that matures into an immunologically competent cell under the influence of the thymus. Involved in cell-mediated immune reactions.
TB skin test
Tuberculin hypersensitivity test to detect a current or past infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
tetanus
Often fatal disease caused by the anaerobic, spore-forming bacterium Clostridium tetani. Characterized by muscle spasms and convulsions.
toxin
Microbial product or component that at low concentrations can injure a cell or organism.
transduction
Transfer of genes between bacteria by bacteriophages.
transformation
Mode of gene transfer in bacteria in which a piece of DNA in the environment is taken up by a bacterium and integrated into the bacterium's genome.
transposon
DNA segment that carries the genes required for transposition and can move from one place to another in the genome. Often carries genes unrelated to transposition as well.
tuberculosis
Infectious disease resulting from infection by a species of Mycobacterium. Infection is usually by inhalation, and the disease usually affects the lungs, although it can occur elsewhere in the body.
vaccination
Administration of a vaccine to stimulate an immune response.
vaccine
Preparation of killed microorganisms; living, weakened (attenuated) microorganisms; inactive or attenuated virus particles; inactivated bacterial toxins; or components (protein, carbohydrate, or nucleic acid) of the microorganism that are administered to stimulate an immune response. Vaccines protect an individual against the pathogenic agent or substance in the future.
vector
Living organism that transfers an infective agent from one host to another.
vector-borne transmission
Transmission of an infectious pathogen between hosts by way of a vector.
virulence
Degree or intensity of pathogenicity of an organism as indicated by mortality rate from the related disease and/or ability to invade tissues and cause disease.
virus
Infectious agent composed of a protein coat and a single type of nucleic acid. Lacks an independent metabolism and reproduces only within a host cell.
whooping cough (pertussis)
Infectious disease of the respiratory tract caused by Bordetella pertussis.
acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
Infectious disease syndrome that is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Characterized by the loss of a normal immune response and increased susceptibility to opportunistic infections and some cancers.
acquired immunity
Specific immunity that develops after exposure to a particular antigen or after antibodies are transferred from one individual to another.
acyclovir
Synthetic drug with antiviral activity against herpes simplex virus. Often used to treat genital herpes.
aerobe
Organism that can grow in the presence of atmospheric oxygen.
airborne transmission
Transmission of an infectious organism in which the organism is truly suspended in the air and travels a meter or more from the source to the host. Chicken pox, flu, measles, and polio are examples of diseases that are caused by airborne agents.
allergen
Substance that can induce an allergic reaction or specific susceptibility.
amantadine
Antiviral compound sometimes used to treat influenza type A infections.
amebiasis
Infection with amoebae. Usually refers to an infection by Entamoeba histolytica. Symptoms are highly variable, ranging from an asymptomatic infection to severe dysentery.
amphotericin B
Antibiotic used to treat systemic fungal infections and also used topically to treat candidiasis.
anaerobe
Organism that can grow in the absence of atmospheric oxygen.
anthrax
Infectious disease of animals caused by ingesting the spores of Bacillus anthracis. Can occur in humans.
antibiotic
Microbial product, or its derivative, that kills or inhibits the growth of susceptible microorganisms.
antibody
Glycoprotein produced in response to an antigen. Antibodies have the ability to combine with the antigen that stimulated their production.
antibody-mediated immunity
Immunity that results from the presence of antibodies in blood and lymph.
antigen
Foreign (nonself) substance to which lymphocytes respond.
antimicrobial agent
Agent that kills or inhibits the growth of microorganisms.
antiseptic
Chemical applied to tissue to prevent infection by killing or inhibiting the growth of pathogens.
antitoxin
Antibody to a microbial toxin. An antitoxin binds specifically with the toxin, neutralizing it.
arenavirus
Type of RNA virus. Lassa fever is caused by an arenavirus.
autogenous infection
Infection that results from a patient's own microflora.
B-cell
Type of lymphocyte derived from bone marrow stem cells that matures into an immunologically competent cell under the influence of the bone marrow. Following interaction with an antigen, a B-cell becomes a plasma cell, which synthesizes antibodies.
bacillus
Rod-shaped bacterium.
bactericide
Agent that kills bacteria.
binary fission
Asexual reproduction in which a cell separates into two cells.
biologic transmission
Disease transmission in which an infectious organism undergoes some morphologic or physiologic change during its passage through the vector.
botulism
Form of food poisoning caused by a neurotoxin produced by Clostridium botulinum. Sometimes found in improperly canned or preserved food.
broad-spectrum drug
Chemotherapeutic agent that is effective across a wide range of different types of pathogens.
candidiasis
Infection caused by a fungus of the genus Candida. Typically involves the skin.
carrier
Infected individual who is a potential source of infection for other people.
cell-mediated immunity
Immunity that results from T-cells contacting foreign or infected cells and destroying them.
chemotherapeutic agent
Compound used in the treatment of disease that kills or inhibits the growth of microorganisms and does so at concentrations low enough to avoid doing damage to the host.
chicken pox
Highly contagious skin disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Acquired by droplet inhalation into the respiratory system.
cholera
Infectious disease caused by Vibrio cholerae.
coccus
Bacterium that is roughly spherical in shape.
common cold
Acute, self-limiting, and highly contagious viral infection of the upper respiratory tract.
communicable disease
Disease associated with an agent that can be transmitted from one host to another.
complement system
Group of circulating plasma proteins that plays a major role in an animal's immune response.
compromised host
Host with lowered resistance to infection and disease for any reason (for example, malnutrition, illness, trauma, or immunosuppression).
conjugation
Form of gene transfer and recombination in bacteria that requires direct cell-to-cell contact.
conjugative plasmid
Plasmid that carries the genes for sex pili and can transfer copies of itself to other bacteria during conjugation.
contact transmission
Transmission of an infectious agent by direct contact of the source or its reservoir with the host.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
Chronic, progressive, fatal disease of the central nervous system caused by a prion.
diphtheria
Acute, highly contagious childhood disease caused by Corynebacterium diphtheriae.
disinfectant
Agent that kills, inhibits, or removes microorganisms that may cause disease.
DPT (diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus) vaccine
Vaccine containing three antigens that is used to immunize people against diphtheria, whooping cough, and tetanus.
endemic disease
Disease that is commonly or constantly present in a population, usually at a relatively constant low level.
epidemic
Sudden increase in occurrence of a disease above the normal level in a particular population.
epidemiologist
Person who specializes in epidemiology.
epidemiology
Study of the factors determining and influencing the frequency and distribution of disease, injury, and disability in a population.
eukaryotic cell
Cell that has its genetic material (DNA) enclosed by a nuclear membrane.
facultative anaerobe
Microorganism that does not require atmospheric oxygen, but grows better in its presence.
fungicide
Agent that kills fungi.
genital herpes
Sexually transmitted disease caused by the herpes simplex type II virus.
giardiasis
Intestinal disease caused by the protozoan Giardia lamblia.
Gram stain
Differential staining procedure that allows categorization of bacteria into two groups (gram-positive and gram-negative) based on their ability to retain crystal violet when decolorized with an organic solvent such as ethanol.
hantavirus
Type of RNA virus. Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome and Korean hemorrhagic fever are caused by viruses in the genus Hantavirus.
harborage transmission
Disease transmission in which an infectious agent does not undergo morphologic or physiologic change during its time inside the vector.
hepatitis A (infectious hepatitis)
Type of hepatitis that is transmitted by fecal-oral contamination. It affects mostly children and young adults, especially under conditions of overcrowding and poor sanitation. Caused by the hepatitis A virus.
hepatitis B (serum hepatitis)
Type of hepatitis caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Transmitted through body fluids.
herd immunity
Resistance of a population to spread of an infectious organism due to the immunity of a high proportion of the population.
host
Body of an organism that harbors another organism. The host provides a microenvironment that supports the growth and reproduction of the parasitic organism.
human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
Retrovirus that is associated with the onset of AIDS.
immune
Protected against a particular disease by either nonspecific or specific immune defenses.
immune response
Response of the body to contact with an antigen that leads to the formation of antibodies and sensitized lymphocytes. Designed to render harmless the antigen and the pathogen producing it.
immunity
General ability of a host to resist developing a particular disease.
immunology
Science concerned with understanding the immune system and the many factors that are involved with producing both acquired and innate immunity.
index case
First disease case in an epidemic within a population.
infection
Invasion of a host by an agent, with subsequent establishment and multiplication of the agent. An infection may or may not lead to disease.
infectious agent
Living or quasi-living organism or particle that causes an infectious disease. Bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa, helminths, and prions are infectious agents.
infectious disease
Change from a state of health to a state in which part or all of a host's body cannot function normally because of the presence of an infectious agent or its products.
inflammation
Localized protective response to tissue injury or destruction. In an acute form, it is characterized by pain, heat, redness, and swelling in the injured area.
influenza (flu)
Acute viral infection of the respiratory tract caused by one of three strains of influenza virus (A, B, and C).
intermediate host
Host that serves as a temporary but essential environment for the completion of a parasite's life cycle.
Koch's postulates
Set of rules for proving that a microorganism causes a specific disease.
Koplik's spot
Lesion of the oral cavity caused by the measles virus.
Legionnaire disease
Pulmonary form of disease caused by infection with Legionella pneumophila.
Lyme disease
Tick-borne disease caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi.
lymphocyte
Type of white blood cell. Lymphocytes transmit chemical signals that help coordinate the immune system.
malaria
Infectious disease caused by the protozoan Plasmodium. Characterized by fever and chills that occur at regular intervals.
measles
Highly contagious skin disease caused by a virus in family Paramyxoviridae. The virus enters the body through the respiratory tract or the conjunctiva. Measles is endemic throughout the world.
microbiota (microbial flora)
Microorganisms that are normally associated with a particular tissue or organ.
morbidity rate
Number of individuals who become ill with a particular disease within a susceptible population during a specified time period.
mortality rate
Ratio of the number of deaths from a particular disease to the total number of cases of the disease.
nonspecific immunity
General defense mechanisms that provide animals with protection from infection and disease but are not targeted at a particular pathogen.
nosocomial infection
Infection produced by a pathogenic agent that a patient acquires during hospitalization or treatment inside another health care facility.
opportunistic organism
Organism that is usually harmless, but can be pathogenic in a compromised host.
pandemic
Increase in the occurrence of a disease in a large and geographically widespread population. Sometimes called a worldwide epidemic.
parasite
Organism that lives on or within another organism (the host). The relationship benefits the parasite and harms the host.
pasteurization
Process of heating milk and other liquids to destroy microorganisms that can cause spoiling or disease.
pathogen
Disease-producing agent.
pathogenicity
Ability to cause disease.
penicillins
Group of antibiotics that are often used to treat infections by gram-positive bacteria.
peptidoglycan
Large polymer that provides much of the strength and rigidity of bacterial cell walls.
period of infectivity
Time during which the source of an infectious agent is disseminating the agent (is infectious).
plague
Acute, infectious disease with a high mortality rate; caused by Yersinia pestis.
plasmid
Circular, double-stranded DNA molecule that can exist and replicate independently of the host cell chromosome or be integrated with it. Although a plasmid is stably inherited, it is not required for bacterial cell growth and reproduction.
poliomyelitis
Acute, contagious viral disease of the central nervous system that can lead to paralysis.
population
Group of organisms of the same species.
prevalence rate
Total number of people infected at one time in a population, regardless of when the disease began.
prion
Infectious particle that is responsible for certain slow-acting diseases such as scrapie in sheep and goats, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. Prions have a protein component, but scientists have not yet detected a nucleic acid component.
prokaryotic cell
Cell that lacks a membrane-delimited nucleus and other membrane-bound organelles. Bacteria are prokaryotic cells.
rabies
Acute infectious disease of the central nervous system caused by an RNA virus of the rhabdovirus group.
reservoir
Site, alternate host, or carrier that harbors pathogenic organisms and serves as a source from which other individuals can be infected.
retrovirus
RNA virus that carries the enzyme reverse transcriptase and forms a DNA copy of its genome during its reproductive cycle.
schistosomiasis
Helminth infection acquired from contact with water containing infected snails.
smallpox
Highly contagious, often fatal disease caused by a poxvirus. Smallpox has been eradicated throughout the world.
source
Location or object from which a pathogen is immediately transmitted to a host.
specific immune response
Collection of several immunological events in which lymphocytes recognize the presence of a particular antigen and act to eliminate it.
spirillum
Rigid, spiral-shaped bacterium.
spirochete
Flexible, spiral-shaped bacterium.
sporadic disease
Disease that occurs occasionally and at random intervals in a population.
superinfection
Bacterial or fungal infection that is resistant to the drug(s) being used to treat it.
T-cell
Lymphocyte derived from bone marrow stem cells that matures into an immunologically competent cell under the influence of the thymus. Involved in cell-mediated immune reactions.
TB skin test
Tuberculin hypersensitivity test to detect a current or past infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
tetanus
Often fatal disease caused by the anaerobic, spore-forming bacterium Clostridium tetani. Characterized by muscle spasms and convulsions.
toxin
Microbial product or component that at low concentrations can injure a cell or organism.
transduction
Transfer of genes between bacteria by bacteriophages.
transformation
Mode of gene transfer in bacteria in which a piece of DNA in the environment is taken up by a bacterium and integrated into the bacterium's genome.
transposon
DNA segment that carries the genes required for transposition and can move from one place to another in the genome. Often carries genes unrelated to transposition as well.
tuberculosis
Infectious disease resulting from infection by a species of Mycobacterium. Infection is usually by inhalation, and the disease usually affects the lungs, although it can occur elsewhere in the body.
vaccination
Administration of a vaccine to stimulate an immune response.
vaccine
Preparation of killed microorganisms; living, weakened (attenuated) microorganisms; inactive or attenuated virus particles; inactivated bacterial toxins; or components (protein, carbohydrate, or nucleic acid) of the microorganism that are administered to stimulate an immune response. Vaccines protect an individual against the pathogenic agent or substance in the future.
vector
Living organism that transfers an infective agent from one host to another.
vector-borne transmission
Transmission of an infectious pathogen between hosts by way of a vector.
virulence
Degree or intensity of pathogenicity of an organism as indicated by mortality rate from the related disease and/or ability to invade tissues and cause disease.
virus
Infectious agent composed of a protein coat and a single type of nucleic acid. Lacks an independent metabolism and reproduces only within a host cell.
whooping cough (pertussis)
Infectious disease of the respiratory tract caused by Bordetella pertussis.
Aids
Viral
Chicken Pox & Shingles
Viral
Common Cold
Viral
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Viral
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Viral
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Viral
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Parasitic Worm
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