zymosis

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zymosis

[zī′mō·səs]
(microbiology)
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On the one hand it was denounced as an epicurean and obnoxious toy from England, designed to corrupt the democratic simplicity of the Republic, and on the other hand it was attacked by the medical faculty as dangerous to health and a certain inviter of "phthisic, rheumatic fevers, inflammation of the lungs, and the whole category of zymotic diseases." (I quote from the Western Medical Repository of April 23, 1843.)
The first narrative is based on a zymotic model of infectious disease that stresses the relation between environment and individual organism.
The older 'filth' or 'zymotic' theory (also known as miasmatic theory) asserted that accumulations of human, animal or vegetable waste, left to rot, produced noxious vapours which led to disease.