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the branch of medical science that studies the causes and nature and effects of diseases


(medicine) the invasion of the body by pathogenic microorganisms and their multiplication which can lead to tissue damage and disease

What does pathology look at?

1. Cause of disease
2. Development of disease
3. State of disease


the multiplication of MO's on or within a host that does not result in cellular injury
ex: normal flora in the intestines however if host susceptibility increases or MO's virulence increases, colonized MO's can become infection


any infection of colonization that cause a change in normal state of health of an individual (37 degrees celcius is normal body temp)

normal flora

MO's that occur or have adapted , organisms that live inside our bodies without ordinarily causing disease.

areas of body that have normal flora

skin, upper respiratory tract, intestines, external eyes and mouth

microbial antagonism

a benefit of normal flora, Typically normal flora inhabit and colonize the body and prevent other pathogens from colonizing on the body. Microbes competing against one another for space and nutrients.

sterile body parts

kidney, brain, liver, blood, urine, cerebrospinal fluid

transient flora

are microorganisms that are present on an animal for a short period of time. can be acquired from the air, water, soil, other people, or animals. ex: staphylococcus aureus and gram negative coliforms such as E. coli from handshakes or doorknob

opportunistic flora

normal flora that can be potential pathogen if health is compromised


MOs that cause disease


series of microbes that cause problems during pregnancy S=Syphilis, T=Toxoplasmosis, O=Other(Hep B, AIDS, Chlamydia), R=Rubella, C=Cytomegalovirus, H=Herpes simplex. Complications of STORCH include spontaneous abortion, congenital abnormalities, brain damage, prematurity, and stillbirths

local infection

infection that is confined to a particular part of the body and is indicated by a lesion containing pus
ex: wart, boils, fungal skin infection

focal infection

when infectious agent breaks loose from a local infection and is carried to other tissues

systemic infection

An infection throughout the body
ex: bacteremia (presence of bacteria in blood)
septicemia (multiplication of bacteria in blood)
toxemia (toxins in blood)

mixed and concurrent infection

cooperate in breaking down tissues such as gangrene

primary infection

an acute infection that causes the initial illness

secondary infection

caused by opportunistic microbe after primary weakened host

acute infection

comes on rapidly, with severe but short-lived effects

chronic infection

infection that occurs slowly, over a very long period, and may last months or years

subclinical infection

person carries the pathogen, but does not have symptoms (polio or hepatitis A can be carried this way)

portal of entry

Refers to the method by which the pathogen enters the body, depends on size attachment and virulence.


the infection or disease originates outside the body


the infection or disease originates within the body

Portal of Entry in Integumenatry System

throught a break in the integrity of skin and mucous membranes such as infections of surgical wounds.

Portal of entry in respiratory tract

inhaling contaminated droplets such as cold, flu, measles

Portal of Entry in Urogenital tract

through contact with infected vaginal secretions of semen as in STD

Portal of Entry in Gastrointestinal tract

by ingesting contaminated food or water such as typhoid or hepatitis A

portal of entry in circulatory system

blood stream

portal of entry by transpacental

penetrate the placenta and infect the fetus

Development of Disease

Incubation Period: no symptoms 2.Prodromal Period: mild symptoms 3. Period of Illness: disease is acute and patient may die 4. Period of decline: symptoms lessen 5. Period Convalescence: recovery (still contagious)

Portal of Exit

pathway by which pathogens leave body of a host; ie. urine, blood, respiratory droplets


n. the branch of medicine that studies the causes, spread, and control of disease in populations

W's plus how of Epidemiology

Who, what, where, when, why and how

reportable disease

By law : Diseases that need to be reported to public health authorities


continual sources of microbes, non living things, animals


animals that carry pathogens from person to person


diseases that occur in animals and can be transmitted to humans 150 known (eg, rabies, lymes, anthrax, ringworm, tapeworm)

non-living reservoir

Inanimate objects that can spread disease. Fomites.
Ie, c. botulinum in soil, bedding, clothing, syringes, food, water, etc.
Often fecal-oral in transmission route.

direct contact transmission

Person-to-person transmission. No intermediate object is involved. i.e. touching, kissing, sexual intercourse

indirect contact transmission

Spread of pathogens from one host to another via inanimate objects called fomites


inanimate objects that serve as reservoirs for microbes e.g. contaminated medical equipment

droplet transmission

Method of spreading disease from respiratory secretion through the air. Spread is usually confined to within 3 feet of the infected patient.


a disease that may be transmitted directly or indirectly from one individual to another


easily spread from person to person


organism that is not transmittable from one individual to another


Frequency of Death

sporadic disease

Disease that occurs occasionally and at random intervals in a population.
ex: typhoid


diseases that are constantly present in the population
ex: cold


A sudden and simultaneous outbreak or increase in the number of cases of disease in a community
ex : (STD, measles)


An outbreak of a disease that spreads worldwide.
ex: AIDS, influenza

Case Reporting agencies

CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
WHO (World Health Organization)
NYSDOH (New York State Dept. of Health)

descriptive Epidemiology

Detective work involving careful tabulation of data:
Locations and times
Patient's ages, genders, occupations, health histories, socioeconomic groupings, etc. (backtrack to find cause of disease)

analytical Epidemiology

analyzes the cause of the disease and the effect of the disease in a given population vs. an uninfected group

experimental Epidemiology

Test hypothesis such as effectiveness of a drug

nasocomial infection

is a acquired by an individual in a healthcare facility

drug resistant strains



methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus


Methicillin Resistant Staph Epidermis


vancomycin resistant enterococcus

E. coli

bacteria in intestines of animals and humans


pneumonia, hospital acquired


nosocomial or opportunistic infections in immunocompromised patients and in those who are on mechanical ventilation, urinary catheters, UTIs

Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Folliculitis (hot tub use)
Entire body
Aquatic enviornments; disinfectant resistant (hospitals)

Staphylococcus aureus

Most post-operative wound infections


exist in the GI tract in large numbers. common nosocomial infection.

compromised host

Host with lowered resistance to infection and disease for any reason (for example, malnutrition, illness, trauma, or immunosuppression).

suppressed immune system

term used to describe an immune system unable to function normally due to the presence of a disease such as AIDS.

invasive procedure

a procedure that requires penetrating intact skin or mucous membranes

chain of transmission

• Routes of transmission are a concern
- Direct transmission from staff to patient
staff---->patient (hand washing)
- Direct transmission from patient to patient
patient--->patient (door)
- Indirect transmission through fomites
formites--->remote in patients room
- Indirect transmission through ventilation
ventalation--->staph on dust

disease control

handwashing, disinfection, sanitation, patient isolation

Infection Control Committee

Conducts epidemiologic studies for patient and employee protection.
Provides education to patients and employees on safeguarding against infectious diseases.

Clinical Microbiology Laboatory

monitors types and numbers of pathogens, participates in infection control

a. commensals

The best descriptive term for the resident microbes is
a. commensals c. pathogens
b. parasites d. contaminants

d. urethra

Resident microbiota is commonly found in the
a. liver c. salivary glands
b. kidney d. urethra

b. lungs

Normal resident microbes are absent from the
a. pharynx c. intestine
b. lungs d. hair follicles

d. all of these

Virulence factors include
a. toxins
c. capsules
d. all of these


the term for the microbes that are normally present in and on the human body; usually beneficial


the degree to which a pathogen can cause disease


break red blood cells

c. damage red blood cells

The specific action of hemolysins is to
a. damage white blood cells
b. cause fever
c. damage red blood cells
d. cause leukocytosis

period of incubation

The ______ is the time that lapses between encounter with a pathogen and the first symtoms.


A short period early in a disease that manifests with general malaise and achiness is the

c. bacteremia

The presence of a few bacteria in the blood is termed
a. septicemia
b. toxemia
c. bacteremia
d. a secondary infection


A ______ infection is acquired in a hospital.

mechanical vector

passive animal transporter, an organism that transmits a parasite, but is not part of the parasites' life cycle, for example- flies, roaches, and rodents

biological vector

disease carrying organism that spreads infectious disease


infectious disease that does not arrive through transmission of infectious agent from host to host ex. tetanus


abnormally large increase in the number of white blood cells


native or confined to a particular region or people
ex. Lyme

b. inoculate a test animal to observe the disease

Which of the following is not a condiditon of Koch's postulates?
a. isolate the causative agent of a disease
b. cultivate the microbe in a lab
c. incoculate a test animal to observe the disease
d. test the effects of a pathogen on humans

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