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Related to infectious agent: communicable disease


, pathogene
any agent that can cause disease


Any agent capable of causing disease. The term pathogen is usually restricted to living agents, which include viruses, rickettsia, bacteria, fungi, yeasts, protozoa, helminths, and certain insect larval stages. See Disease

Pathogenicity is the ability of an organism to enter a host and cause disease. The degree of pathogenicity, that is, the comparative ability to cause disease, is known as virulence. The terms pathogenic and nonpathogenic refer to the relative virulence of the organism or its ability to cause disease under certain conditions. This ability depends not only upon the properties of the organism but also upon the ability of the host to defend itself (its immunity) and prevent injury. The concept of pathogenicity and virulence has no meaning without reference to a specific host. For example, gonococcus is capable of causing gonorrhea in humans but not in lower animals. See Medical mycology, Medical parasitology, Plant pathology, Plant viruses and viroids, Virulence


A disease-producing agent; usually refers to living organisms.
References in periodicals archive ?
Has building facility maintenance been instructed on how to or how not to handle any suspected infectious agents ?
methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin resistant enterococci (VRE)) [3,4] and the emergence of about 30 new infectious agents (e.
Directly or indirectly, infectious agents produce long-term outcomes through pathways that include acute infection, persistent active infection, persistent nonreplicating (latent) infection, immune response to an infectious agent that may not commonly be pathogenic, and malignant transformation.
With vaccines and effective treatments often unavailable, the immune system's efforts to eradicate infectious agents or infected cells are frequently the only means to combat them.
The use of antibody-based therapies against infectious agents in routine clinical practice is limited by several factors, including cost, need for a specific diagnosis before use, and the fact that passive immunization is more effective as prophylaxis than as therapy for established infections.
This is the first solid clue that an infectious agent may be linked to mental illness," says R.
The Company's Viral Immunotherapy Platform is focused on the removal of the lipid envelope from certain viruses and other lipid-containing infectious agents exposing hidden viral proteins and stimulating the body's immune system to elicit an enhanced response to the infectious agent.
A longstanding problem has been to isolate an infectious agent that is present in our tissues that could stimulate the development of atherosclerotic plaques.
Previous reservoir definitions often required that the relevant infectious agent be nonpathogenic to the reservoir host species (14,15).
In the ongoing fight against the bacterium that causes tuberculosis, which claims more lives annually than any other infectious agent, these spies have now collected a long-awaited body of intelligence.
Though the practice of supplementing feed with animal byproducts has, for the most part, been abandoned, Waiters suggests that certain risks remain, as prions, the subviral infectious agent responsible for mad cow and vCJD are also found in wild game, though, to date, no one has connected consumption of deer or elk meat with vCJD.
The researchers analyzed ancient DNA to identify kinetoplast DNA of Trypanosoma cruzi, the disease's infectious agent transmitted by the insect vector, a triatomid bug.

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