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The term infection or contagion has several 'definitions' :

  1. Presence of a microorganism in a particular host.
  2. Penetration of the pathogen into the organism, multiplication inside and adverse effects on its surfaces (in contrast to colonization with non-pathogenic or pathogenic microbes without disease symptoms).
  3. Conflict between the microbe and its host (even asymptomatic infection).

Course of infection[edit | edit source]

The course and severity of an infection can be affected by several factors: From the microbe:

  • pathogenicity;
  • virulence;
  • infectious dose.

By the macroorganism:

  • level of non-specific resistance - general fitness, genetic factors (population resistance);
  • specific immunity - primary, secondary reactions;
  • age, nutrition, life style.

Other factors:

Stages of infection[edit | edit source]

  1. Incubation Period;
  2. period of prodromal symptoms - non-specific symptoms;
  3. typical syndrome;
  4. convalescence - relapse may occur;
  5. recurrence - after healing.

Forms of infection[edit | edit source]

According to manifestation:

  1. Inaparent.
  2. Manifest.
  3. Subclinical - uncharacteristic symptoms.
  4. Abortive - little expressed symptoms.
  5. Clinical form of infection - all symptoms expressed.
By range
  1. Local (possibly also focal).
  2. Systemic (sometimes referred to as massive) - if it affects the whole system or a substantial part of it (eg flu, pulmonary TB, meningitis, pyelonephritis…).
  3. Generalized (regularly eg typhoid fever, rickettsiosis, most exanthematous viruses.
According to the course
  1. Acute (days).
  2. Subacute (months).
  3. Fulminant.
  4. Chronic (years).
  5. Asymptomatic chronic infections.
  6. Mainly viruses, bacteria - Rickettsia prowazekii , Chlamydia trachomatis , Salmonella typhi , [[Mycobacterium tuberculosis] ]] .
  7. Persistent - agent present in infectious detectable form.
  8. Latent - in the body in a non-infectious form.

Links[edit | edit source]

Similar articles[edit | edit source]

Source[edit | edit source]

  • JANSKÝ, Petr. Zpracované otázky z mikrobiologie [online]. [cit. 2012-02-03]. <>.