An infection is caused by the invasion of by pathogenic organisms (bacteria, viruses or worms) into a host. These pathogenic organisms live and multiply in its host and cause diseases by this.

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Wolbachia - cytoplasmic incompatibility

I read that cytoplasmic incompatibility in Wolbachia occurs when wolbachia-infected male insects mate with wolbachia-free female insects and produce non-viable offspring. By contrast, ...
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66 views

Can suppression of the immune system help cure chronic diseases?

I am not a biologist, but recently while reading an article on Scholarpedia about self-organization I encountered a fascinating biological observation concerning immune response to infections. To ...
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What is the difference between influenza A and B viruses that causes their distinct seasonal patterns?

I recently learned from an answer at health.SE* that influenza B tends to occur later in the season compared to influenza A. According to the graph in that answer, during this year’s flu season the ...
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101 views

Why is the upper respiratory tract so vulnerable to infections?

Wikipedia has the following statement on its Upper respiratory tract infection page: In United States URIs are the most common infectious illness in the general population. What is it about ...
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Does long term use of antibiotics in humans actually lead to a greater risk of infection?

I've read about the overuse of antibiotics leading to antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria, so generally does long term use of antibiotics breed these strains in the bodies of antibiotic users and ...
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If ants have an antibiotic gland, how can they spread hospital infections?

Wikipedia describes how antibiotics are produced in ants: "Metapleural glands ... are responsible for the production of an antibiotic fluid that then collects in a reservoir ... also referred ...
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Can an influenza virus carry other infectors with it?

This idea came to my mind when thinking about how many people become ill in many locations with similar symptoms (fever and rough cough) from Influenza. There are of course different types of ...
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Can different strains of Rhizobium share an infection thread or symbiosome?

Rhizobium infection can be triggered at root hairs of legumes, creating infection threads. Can these infections threads be colonized by more than one type of Rhizobium (e.g. Fixing and non-fixing)? ...
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Is there a period after you have had a cold when you cannot get a cold again?

I always assumed colds ran on a 'no tagbacks' principle: once it's out of your system, it takes a while before you can get a cold again. Is there any truth to this, or can rhinoviruses hit you at any ...
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To what extent is Ebola airborne? (aerosols)

Recently, CIDRAP at the University of Minnesota announced that Ebola may be more transmissible through aerosols than previously thought. I lack the familiarity with the field to critically evaluate ...
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How long does the Ebola virus remain infectious on contaminated items or surfaces?

I'm sure there will be variation depending on what the contaminated item or surface is made of - linens, I could imagine, would remain dangerous for longer than a door-knob. But if the items are not ...
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What (if anything) about tuberculosis makes producing a highly effective vaccine difficult?

What about tuberculosis makes it difficult to produce a safe vaccine that is effective at producing an immunogenic response in >99% of individuals against all strains of the bacteria? I am aware of ...
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How do colds and flu not infinitely recur?

I'm in my third week of university, and a large number of people I know, including myself, still have "fresher's flu", which is probably just a cold and a cough. My lectures are constantly punctuated ...
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Why don't we develop immunity against common cold?

We all suffer from common cold, and that, frequently. Why have we not developed immunity against it till now? By immunity I mean immunity as a species.
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How the conjunctivitis virus spread just by seeing a person's eye who is infected

Conjunctivitis or 'pink eye'. I have a few questions on conjunctivitis. When I was suffering from conjunctivitis, my doctor advised me to wear sunglasses so that no one else gets infected. I ...
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Why was disease transfer to the Americas one-way?

It is well known that the European colonists brought many infectious diseases to the Americas, and that these had a deadly effect on the native populations, because they had no immunity to them. Were ...
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Could the growth rates of Vibrio vulnificus be affected by an oil spill?

I live on the Gulf Coast, and Vibrio vulnificus has recently made the news due to an increase in the number of reported infections. Naturally, it has people around here worried. I live in an area that ...
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749 views

Differentiating Taenia solium and Taenia saginata Infections

I have been told that both are spread by pigs and cattle, respectively. I would like to know the complications caused by Taenia solium and Taenia saginata. Also elaborate how dangerous is one as ...
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108 views

Is it possible to get infected with HIV from old blood?

Let's say that someone uses a needle which has some old blood infected with HIV. In this case, is it possible for them to get infected with HIV?
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66 views

TB disease - treatment and infection

Background: I'm currently performing research in mathematical biology, specifically on the treatment dynamics of HIV and TB co-infection. Question: Can a person infected with TB disease, who are ...
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When infected with malaria, how many parasites are within a human host?

When infected with malaria, how many P. falciparum cells are within a human host? And how does this compare with the average infection parasitemia of A. gambiae? I can't seem to find a reliable source ...
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211 views

Elevated position effect on recovery times from upper respiratory infections at rest?

In nursing school, they advice for people with upper respiratory infections to be in a slightly elevated position at the head region when sleeping. My intuition of the reason is that the lymphatic ...
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282 views

How does cold water help to overcome high fever?

Why cold water helps to overcome from high fever in body? As fever is inside the body and we're applying cold water over the body!
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310 views

Can SIRS occur without Sepsis from Infection?

I am thinking this figure It suggests me that there has to be Sepsis that infection can lead to SIRS. I am thinking particularly the pathogenesis of Cryptococcus neoformans where respiratory ...
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Do lysogenic viruses only infect bacteria?

In the video sent by my teacher on viruses, the example he used for lysogenic viruses was a bacteriophage infecting a bacteria. When he was describing how the genetic material was incorporated into ...
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Why do 6-8% of diphtheria patients do not develop natural immunity after being affected?

I am thinking of why some patients do not have natural immunity after exposure to the A-B toxin of diphthria. I think the A-B exotoxin is the key factor causing this disease and should trigger memory ...
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106 views

Why do people use anti-inflammatory drugs?

Why people should take anti-inflammatory drugs, when inflammation is a physiological way to defend our organism?
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Can pets catch the cold?

Last night I was drying my cat with a towel after shenanigans in the rain and she sneezed! Questions Can cats/dogs/hamsters or other pets catch the cold? How quickly do they recover?
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Organisms as potential Bio-Weapons?

Question: Given that with genetic engineering we can customize organisms as bio-weapons. Which species have the most worrying potential to be weaponized for mass destruction? Background: ...
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Do we actually get more sick (flu/cold) during winter?

The word flu derives from the Italian phrase "influenza de freddo" meaning "influence of the cold". Indeed it is that time of the year when my colleagues seem to have the flu/cold more often than ...
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Do Total Gastrectomies leave individuals more open to infections from eating unsanitary food?

I ask this because the stomach plays a role in sterilising food and hence without one it follows that perhaps one would be more prone to getting intestinal infections.
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E. coli, risk of infection?

There has been a warning about E. coli contaminated water in South Florida. Now I'm wondering are there empirical data or historic cases which show a correlation between E.coli levels in tap water and ...
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1k views

How do viroids propagate to other hosts?

As viroids are simply non-encapsidated non-coding RNA molecules, it is difficult to imagine a mechanism for their continual infection, other than horizontal transfer which doesn't seem to be the case. ...
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How does a virus take control over the host cell?

When the virus integrates its DNA with the hosts and enters the lytic pathway, do the viral proteins that produced destroy the cells DNA? Do they deactivate it? Also does the cell function in the same ...
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How does your body know when it is infected so it can invoke a fever?

How does your body know when it is infected with a virus or bacteria so it can invoke a fever or ramp up the immune system?