Alternative MedicinesInfectionInjuries
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   Actinomycosis
   Adenoviral Infections
   Amebiasis
   Ascariasis
   Blastomycosis
   Botulism
   Brucellosis
   Candidiasis
   Chancroid
   Chlamydial Infections
   Cholera
   Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome
   Clostridium Difficile Infection
   Coccidioidomycosis
   Colorado Tick Fever
   Common Cold
   Cryptococcosis
   Cryptosporidiosis
   Cytomegalovirus Infection
   Diphtheria
   Ebola Virus Infection
   Enterobiasis
   Escherichia Coli
   Gas Gangrene
   Genital Warts
   Giardiasis
   Gonorrhea
   Haemophilus Influenzae Infection
   Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
   Herpangina
   Herpes Simplex
   Herpes Zoster
   Histoplasmosis
   Hookworm Disease
   Infectious Mononucleosis
   Influenza
   Legionnaires' Disease
   Leprosy
   Listeriosis
   Lyme Disease
   Malaria
   Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus
   Mumps
   Necrotizing Fasciitis
   Nocardiosis


What is Infection?

Infection is the invasion and multiplication of microorganisms in or on body tissues that produce signs and symptoms as well as an immune response. Such reproduction injures the host by causing cellular damage from microorganism-produced toxins or intracellular multiplication or by competing with host metabolism. The host's own immune response may compound the tissue damage. The damage may be localized (as in infected pressure ulcers) or systemic. The infection's severity varies with the pathogenicity and number of the invading microorganisms and the strength of host defenses. The very young and the very old are especially susceptible to infections.

Why are the microorganisms that cause infectious diseases so hard to overcome? Many complex reasons exist:

  • Some bacteria - especially gram-negative bacillidevelop resistance to antibiotics.
  • Some microorganisms - the influenza virus, for example - have so many strains that a single vaccine can't provide protection against them all.
  • Most viruses resist antiviral drugs.
  • Some microorganisms localize in areas that make treatment difficult, such as the central nervous system or bone.

Moreover, certain factors contribute to increase the risk of infection. For example, travel can expose people to diseases for which they have little. natural immunity. In addition, the expanded use of immunosuppressants, surgery, and other invasive procedures increases the risk of infection.

Kinds of infections

A laboratory-verified infection that causes no signs and symptoms is called a subclinical, silent, or asymptomatic injection. A multiplication of microbes that produces no signs, symptoms, or immune responses is called a colonization. A person with a subclinical infection or a colonization may be a carrier and transmit infection to others.

A latent infection occurs after a microorganism has been dormant in the host, sometimes for years. An exogenous infection results from environmental pathogens; an endogenous infection, from the host's normal flora (for instance, Escherichia coli displaced, from the colon, which may cause urinary tract infection).

The varied forms of microorganisms responsible for infectious diseases include bacteria, spirochetes (a type of bacteria), viruses, rickettsiae, chlamydiae, fungi, and protozoa. Larger organisms, such as helminths (worms), also may cause disease.

   Parainfluenza
   Pertussis
   Pneumocystis Carinii Pneumonia
   Poliomyelitis
   Pseudomonas Infections
   Rabies
   Relapsing Fever
   Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection
   Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
   Roseola Infantum
   Rotavirus
   Rubella
   Rubeola
   Salmonella Infection
   Scarlet Fever
   Schistosomiasis
   Shigellosis
   Sporotrichosis
   Strongyloidiasis
   Syphilis
   Taeniasis
   Tetanus
   Toxic Shock Syndrome
   Toxoplasmosis
   Trichinosis
   Trichomoniasis
   Vancomycin Intermittent-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus
   Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus
   Varicella
   West Nile Encephalitis

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