An infection is the detrimental colonization of a host organism by a foreign organism. An infection is, in effect, a war in which the infecting organism seeks to utilize the host's resources in order to multiply at the expense of the host. The infecting organism, or pathogen, interferes with the normal functioning and perhaps the survival of the host. A pathogen is usually considered a microscopic organism though the definition is broader, including bacteria, parasites, fungi, viruses, prions, and viroids. The branch of medicine that focuses on infections and pathogens is infectious disease.
Bacterial infections are caused by the presence and growth of microorganisms that damage host tissue. The extent of infection is generally determined by how many organisms are present and the toxins they release. Worldwide, bacterial infections are responsible for more deaths than any other cause.
Bacteria are microscopic, single-celled organisms found in air, water, soil, and food. They live on plants, insects, animals, pets, and even in the human digestive system and upper respiratory tract. There are thousands of kinds of bacteria, but only a few actually cause disease in humans.
Under normal circumstances, people are protected from bacterial infection by a healthy immune system. Thus, maintaining the healthiest immune profile possible will help reduce the risk of bacterial infection.
The human body requires a balanced diet that provides nutrients, minerals, and vitamins for a functional and effective immune response. Immune function is impacted by factors including hormonal status, age, and nutritional status. Malnutrition results in a depressed immune system that raises the risk of infection.
|Upper Respiratory Tract Infections||Middle Ear Infections||Campylobacter Infections||Skin Infection|
|Lower Respiratory Tract Infections||Tuberculosis Infections||Urinary Tract Infections|
|Helicobacter Pylori Infections||Salmonella Infections||Shigella Infections|
|Health Care Associated Infections||Gastrointestinal Infection||E. Coli Infections|
Although types of viruses behave differently, most survive by taking over the machinery that makes a cell work. Briefly, when a single virus particle, a "virion", comes in contact with a cell it likes, it may attach to special landing sites on the surface of that cell. From there, the virus may inject molecules into the cell, or the cell may swallow up the virion. Once inside the cell, viral molecules such as DNA or RNA direct the cell to make new virus offspring. That's how a virus "infects" a cell.
Many viral infections do not result in disease. For example, by the time most people in the United States become adults, they have been infected by cytomegalovirus (CMV). Most of these people, however, do not develop CMV disease symptoms. Other viral infections can result in deadly diseases, such as HIV infection, which causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
More than 300 viruses in animals have been discovered. Some are harmless and others cause disease, such as the common cold or measles. Other viruses include the flu virus, the chickenpox virus, the Ebola virus, and the virus that causes AIDS.
|Molluscum Contagiosum Virus||HIV/AIDS Virus||Pneumonia Virus||HTLV-1 Virus||Rubella Virus||Wart Virus|
|Human Papilloma Virus||Dysentery Virus||Common Cold||HTLV Virus||Mumps Virus||Ebola Virus|
|Mononucleosis Virus||West Nile Virus||Herpes Virus||Measles Virus||Rabies Virus||Flu Virus|
|Chicken Pox Virus||Epstein-Barr Virus||Hepatitis Virus||Smallpox Virus||Polio Virus|
Infection Information: Natural News 10/2/2009 - Do Not Kill A Fever: Fever Kills Viruses
Infection Information: Dr. Mercola 10/8/2000 - Healthcare Workers Are Source Of Infections
Infection Information: Dr. Mercola 10/15/2000 - Maggot Therapy
Infection Information: Dr. Mercola 5/4/2005 - Sugar Increases Viral Infections