Lapedes, Daniel N. Formerly, Editor in Chief, "McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology," McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., New York, New York.
Last reviewed:January 2020
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A term considered by some to mean the entrance, growth, and multiplication of a microorganism (pathogen) in the body of a host, resulting in the establishment of a disease process. Others define infection as the presence of a microorganism in host tissues whether or not it evolves into detectable pathologic effects. The host may be a bacterium, plant, animal, or human being, and the infecting agent may be viral, rickettsial, bacterial, fungal, or protozoan. A differentiation is made between infection and infestation. Infestation is the invasion of a host by higher organisms, such as parasitic worms. See also: Epidemiology; Medical bacteriology; Medical mycology; Medical parasitology; Nosocomial disease; Opportunistic infections; Pathogen; Virus
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