Researchers discover giant cavity in key tuberculosis molecule

Researchers from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have discovered a strange new feature of a protein that's thought to be important in the development of tuberculosis: The protein contains a ...

Predicting the impacts of white-nose syndrome in bats

Since 2005, millions of bats have perished from white-nose syndrome, a disease caused by the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans. Although the disease has been found throughout much of the world, severe population declines ...

Smartphone lab delivers test results in 'spit' second

Engineers with the University of Cincinnati have created a tiny portable lab that plugs into your phone, connecting it automatically to a doctor's office through a custom app UC developed.

Watching bat coronaviruses with next-generation sequencing

In late 2019, a mysterious coronavirus—now called 2019-nCoV—began making people sick in Wuhan, China. Now the virus has spread to at least four other countries, including the United States, and killed at least nine people.

Researchers find ways to improve on soap and water

Nanosafety researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health have developed a new intervention to fight infectious disease by more effectively disinfecting the air around us, our food, our hands, and whatever else ...

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Infectious disease

An infectious disease is a clinically evident disease resulting from the presence of pathogenic microbial agents, including pathogenic viruses, pathogenic bacteria, fungi, protozoa, multicellular parasites, and aberrant proteins known as prions. These pathogens are able to cause disease in animals and/or plants. Infectious pathologies are usually qualified as contagious diseases (also called communicable diseases) due to their potential of transmission from one person or species to another. Transmission of an infectious disease may occur through one or more of diverse pathways including physical contact with infected individuals. These infecting agents may also be transmitted through liquids, food, body fluids, contaminated objects, airborne inhalation, or through vector-borne spread.

The term infectivity describes the ability of an organism to enter, survive and multiply in the host, while the infectiousness of a disease indicates the comparative ease with which the disease is transmitted to other hosts. An infection however, is not synonymous with an infectious disease, as an infection may not cause important clinical symptoms or impair host function.

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