Study Guide

Infectious Diseases Terms

Infectious Diseases Terms

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

This is the disease caused by infection with the HIV virus. With treatment, it takes many years before a patient develops AIDS.

Antibacterial

Something that can kill bacteria.

Antibiotic

An antibiotic is a chemical compound that kills microbes or inhibits their growth.

Antibodies

Something produced by the immune system to help combat a specific pathogen. Antibodies are produced upon infection. They can help to both detect a pathogen and to assist with destroying it. After an infection, a small group of antibodies will remain to keep an eye out for the pathogen in case it dares to return.

Antifungal

A drug taken to combat a fungal infection.

Antiviral

A drug taken to combat a viral infection.

Bacteria

Bacteria are a domain of life, along with archaea and eukaryotes. Bacteria, like archaea, are single celled organisms that lack nuclei. Bacteria and archaea have some differences in central processes, notably transcription and translation, as well as different cell walls.

Bacteriology

The study of bacteria.

Biofilms

A group of bacteria living together in a clump for a purpose.

Bioterrorism

Bioterrorism

Bio Warfare

A type of war between two countries or groups using bioweapons.

Bioweapon

A weapon using a pathogen as a way to harm another person or thing.

Capsid

The protein coat that protects a virus. Like virus Kevlar.

Center for Disease Control (CDC)

The United States government organization that handles infectious diseases.

Drug Resistance

This happens when a pathogen has changed so that a drug is not effective to it anymore.

Epidemic

An outbreak of a contagious disease

Epidemiology

The study of health and disease patterns and their effects on a population.

Fungi

A type of organism that spreads by sporulation. It is a member of the Eukarya domain. Yeasts and molds are examples of fungi.

Gut Flora

The population of bacteria that live inside your gut, primarily in your intestine. They can help the body in many ways, and are a requirement for a healthy digestive process. Many of their important functions are not well understood yet.

Host

An organism that has another organism living inside it.

Infectious Disease

A disease that is spread through infection, usually by ebacteria or viruss.

Latent Infection

An infection that is in a sort of hibernation mode. It does not cause symptoms and the person is not contagious. Sometimes symptoms can take a long time to appear. Other times they can appear and disappear and reappear, such as in Tuberculosis.

Lymph Node

A local office of the immune system in different places of your body. You have lymph nodes in your neck, under your arms, in your groin, and other places in your body. They are a hangout for immune cells and they can swell and become inflamed during an infection.

Mycotic Infection

This is a fancy way of saying a fungal infection.

Non-pathogenic

This means something is not harmful to you and will not cause disease.

Pandemic

A disease of globally epic proportions


Parasite

Something that can infect you and cause you harm. Bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites are some types of pathogens.

Prokaryotes

Unicellular organisms whose DNA is not contained within a nucleus. They also only have a single copy of their genes (they are haploid) and have no organelles.

Sporulation

The process of reproduction through making spores and sending them out into the world.

Superbug

A type of pathogen that is resistant to two or more drugs. They are dangerous because doctors have few or no drugs left to combat the infection.

Vaccine

A solution that improves the body’s immunity against certain types of infection.

Vector

A mathematical structure that has both magnitude and direction, represented by an ordered pair of components.

Virion

This is the fancy name for a viral particle.

Virology

The study of viruses.

Virus

A small infectious agent that can only replicate inside of living cells, ranging from plants, animals, and bacteria, to archaea. Virus genetic information is encoded in either RNA or DNA and requires the host cell to make proteins.

World Health Organization (WHO)

A worldwide organization that investigates health around the world. They keep track of the outbreaks of infectious diseases.

Zoonotic Disease

A disease that can affect both humans and other animals.

Roots of Common Terms in Infectious Diseases

Roots

G = Greek, L = Latin

Antibacterial

anti = against (G); bacterion = small staff (G)

Antibiotic

anti = against (G); bio = life (G)

Bacteria

bac = rod-shaped (L)

Bioterrorism

bio = life (G); terror = great fear (L)

Drug Resistance

resistentia = opposition (L)

Epidemic

epi = upon (G); dem = people (G)

Fungi

fungus = a mushroom (L)

Infectious

infectus = to spoil, stain (L)

Latent

lateo = lie hidden(L)

Mortality

mort = death (L)

Mycotic

mykes = fungus(G)

Pandemic

pan = all (G); dem = people (g)

Parasite

Para = beside (G); sitos = food (G)

Pathogenesis

path = hurt (G); gen = birth (G)

Prokaryote

pro = before (G); karyon = nut (G)

Vaccine

vac = empty (L)

Vector

vect = to carry (L)

Virus

virus = poison (L)

Zoonotic

zoion = animal (G); nosos = disease (G)