Related topics: hiv · antibiotics · bacteria · immune system · virus

When dangerous toxins teach fundamental biology

"What our work shows is how a complex in the center of the cell, the ER-Golgi interaction region, controls plasma membrane cholesterol, which is essential for many cellular functions, if not essential for multicellular life," ...

Fighting fungal infections with metals

Each year, more than 1 billion people contract a fungal infection. Although they are harmless to most people, over 1.5 million patients die each year as a result of infections of this kind.

Swimming nanorobots treat deadly pneumonia in mice

Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego have developed microscopic robots, called microrobots, that can swim around in the lungs, deliver medication and be used to clear up life-threatening cases of bacterial ...

Engineering an enzyme against antibiotic-resistant anthrax

In the 2001 "Amerithrax" attacks, anthrax-causing spores were sent through the mail to media outlets and members of Congress, sickening at least 22 people and killing five. Antibiotic-resistant strains of the bacteria are ...

Soybean virus may give plant-munching bugs a boost in survival

Most viral infections negatively affect an organism's health, but one plant virus in particular—soybean vein necrosis orthotospovirus, often referred to as SVNV—may actually benefit a type of insect that commonly feeds ...

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Infection

An infection is the detrimental colonization of a host organism by a foreign species. In an infection, the infecting organism seeks to utilize the host's resources to multiply, usually at the expense of the host. The infecting organism, or pathogen, interferes with the normal functioning of the host and can lead to chronic wounds, gangrene, loss of an infected limb, and even death. The host's response to infection is inflammation. Colloquially, a pathogen is usually considered a microscopic organism though the definition is broader, including parasites, fungi, viruses, prions, and viroids. A symbiosis between parasite and host, whereby the relationship is beneficial for the former but detrimental to the latter, is characterised as parasitism. The branch of medicine that focuses on infections and pathogens is infectious disease. "When infection attacks the body, anti-infective drugs can help turn the tide of battle. Four types of anti-infective drugs exist: antibacterial, antiviral, antitubercular, and antifungal. A secondary infection is an infection that occurs during or following treatment of another already existing primary infection.

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