Incubation Period

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incubation period

[‚iŋ·kyə′bā·shən ‚pir·ē·əd]
The period of time required for the development of symptoms of a disease after infection, or of altered reactivity after exposure to an allergen.
(vertebrate zoology)
The brooding period required to bring an egg to hatching.

Incubation Period


(or incubation), the time interval from the moment of infection to the appearance of the clinical symptoms of a disease.

For each infectious disease, the incubation period has a characteristic length, although the length may vary depending on the number of microbes that entered the body, their pathogenicity, the physical condition of the body itself (previous traumas and illnesses, malnutrition, vitamin deficiency), and the site of entry of the infection. Vaccination, seroprophylaxis, and chemotherapy prolong the incubation period.

Table 1. Length of incubation periods of some infectious diseases
 Length of incubation period (in days)
Most frequent “average”MinimumMaximum
Rabies . . . . . . .40123-6 months (rarely up to 1 year)
Botulism . . . . . .12-24 hours1-2 hours1 (rarely more)
Brucellosis . . . . .14720-30
Typhoid fever . . .143–421
Chicken pox . . . .11–141021
Influenza . . . . . .2a few hours3
Dysentery . . . . .32 hours7
Diphtheria . . . . .527–10
Whooping cough .7–9214–15
Measles . . . . . .8–10717 and 21 (with injection of serum)
Malaria . . . . . . .10–15631 (in tertian malaria, sometimes 7–11 months)
Epidemic parotitis (mumps) . . . . . .11921
Poliomyelitis . . . . .7–14335
Scarlet fever . . .3–6a few hours7–12
Tetanus . . . . . . .7–14140 (sometimes upon removal of splinters, a few years)
Typhus . . . . . . .12–14620
Tularemia . . . . . . .8121
Epidemic cerebrospinal meningitis2–3a few hours7
Foot-and-mouth disease . . . . .426

In some infectious diseases (such as measles and diphtheria) causative agents are discharged into the environment during the incubation period; this leads to the infection of other persons. The length of the incubation period is important in discovering the source of infection and sometimes also for establishing a diagnosis.


References in periodicals archive ?
The efficacy of microneedle pretreatment with a 20-minute incubation time is similar to that of 1-hour incubation times with ALA.
The optimization was carried out by classical approach by taking different factors in account including incubation temperature, incubation time, moisture content, different oils, different nitrogen and carbon sources (Figure 2 and Figure 3).
The major difference in in vitro DMD due to processing was between ground and dry-rolled barley which occurred at each incubation time, whereby DMD was substantially less for dry-rolled than ground barley.
Table 1: Effect of NaOH and formaldehyde treatments within each incubation time on dry matter contents of sorghum grains.
2008) reported difference in incubation time for sugarcane only, with different grindings, Kuwahara et al.
The effects of incubation time periods on invertase production by P.
The method essential feature is that the test MW sample volume increased from 0,1 to 5,0 ml, with simultaneous increase of incubation time from 10 to 30 min.
In this study, an unexpectedly substantial amount of ammonium was released in each incubation time in both soils when the incubation temperature was -5[degrees]C.
36 x105 mL-1) with 4 h incubation time at a temperature of 28degC (Fig.
However, the distribution for incubation time and concentrations of different enzymes and detergents which were used in the methods were uneven.
Fate further demonstrated that performing incubation of the hematopoietic stem cells at 38-degrees Celsius and increasing the incubation time from 1 to 2 hours elicited a much stronger gene and protein expression response that correlated with improved engraftment in animal models.