Pollutants, pathogens could team up to make us sick

Many people view pollutants and pathogens as separate causes of illness. However, recent research indicates that the two can interact, changing how people and animals respond to infectious diseases. According to an article ...

Researchers discover the secret to bats' immunity

An international research team led by Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore, has identified molecular and genetic mechanisms that allow bats to stay healthy while hosting viruses that kill other animals, according to a new study ...

Viral communications hacking boosts Leishmania infections

New research from McGill University has found that a virus infecting the Leishmania parasite spreads by exploiting a mechanism used for cell-to-cell communication, a discovery that could pave the way to new vaccines against ...

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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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