Terms and definitions related to infectious diseases

Once we mention infectious diseases, the first thing that pops up into our mind is Antibiotics. This is true, but also we have to keep in our mind that the anti-infective category includes a lot of other infections that should be fought.


  • Bacterial Infections.
  • Fungal Infections.
  • Viral Infections.
  • Parasitic Infections.

In this post, I am going to mention some terms related to infectious diseases. It will be a quick tips and you can read them to refresh your memory or when you want to check “how to remember” them. A keyword(s) for some definitions will be marked in red so once the term mentioned .. the keyword shoud too.


Botulism -> Food Poisoning

Gram’s stain

A method of staining bacteria in order to identify them. Gram-positive bacteria stain violet; gram-negative bacteria stain red. I will make a separated post to explain the differences!


Refers to infections that have been occurred in a hospital.


An infectious disease caused by a type of bacteria called Bacillus Anthracis. Infection in humans most often involves the skin, gastrointestinal tract, or lungs.


Presence of bacteria in the bloodstream. The suffix “emia” means it is related to blood.


A severe, sometimes fatal food poisoning caused by ingestion of food containing botulin and characterized by nausea, vomiting, disturbed vision, muscular weakness, and fatigue.

Otitis Externa

Also called “swimmer’s ear,” which is an infection of the skin covering the outer ear canal that leads in to the ear drum, usually due to bacteria.

Clostridium difficile

A bacterium that produces an irritating toxin that causes a form of colitis characterized by profuse, watery diarrhea with cramps and low grade fever.


A fungal infection, caused by Candida albicans, usually of the moist cutaneous areas of the body.


Diseases caused by fungi.


Inflammation of the liver with accompanying liver cell damage or death, caused most often by viral infection, e.g., hepatitis A, B and C.

Herpes simplex virus 1

Causes cold sores or fever blisters on the mouth or around the eyes and can be transmitted to the genital area.

Herpes simplex virus 2

Causes painful sores of the anus or genitals.

Herpes varicella zoster virus (HVZ)

Also called shingles, consists of very painful blisters on the skin and affects areas innervated by specific nerves. It may appear in adulthood as a result of having had chicken pox (caused by the varicella virus) as a child.


A highly contagious bacterial skin infection caused by streptococcus or staphylococcus. It mostly affects infants and children and usually appears as red sores on the face, especially around the nose and mouth.


Diseases affecting skin (cutaneous), mucous membranes and internal organs (visceral) caused by a parasite called Leishmania, which is transmitted from infected animals or people to new hosts by sand flies.


A serious parasitic disease, spread by the bite of the Anopheles mosquito. Malaria is characterized by severe fever and chills and complications affecting the kidneys, liver, brain and blood.

Marburg virus disease

Also called Marburg hemorrhagic fever, a rare, severe type of hemorrhagic fever that affects both humans and nonhuman primates. It is caused by a genetically unique animal-borne (zoonotic) RNA virus of the filovirus family.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

A type of bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics, including methicillin and other more common antibiotics such as oxacillin, penicillin and amoxicillin. Staph infections, including MRSA, occur most frequently among patients in hospitals and healthcare settings.


A group of viruses that cause the “stomach flu,” or gastroenteritis. Symptoms usually include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and some stomach cramping. Sometimes people also have a low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue. The illness often begins suddenly and lasts for one or two days.


Disease, deformity or wasting of the nails caused by fungal infection.

Otitis Media

Inflammation of the middle ear, often caused by a pneumococcal infection.


Also called “whooping cough” a communicable, potentially deadly bacterial illness characterized by fits of coughing followed by a noisy, “whooping” in drawn breath. The illness is most likely to affect young children, but sometimes appears in teenagers and adults, even those who have been previously immunized. Immunization with DPT (diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus) vaccine provides protection, although that immunity may wear off with age. When teenagers and adults get pertussis, it appears first as coughing spasms, and then a stubborn dry cough lasting up to eight weeks.


A viral disease most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. The rabies virus infects the central nervous system leading to disease in the brain and death.


A genus of viruses that infect the upper respiratory tract and cause the common cold.


A group of viruses that are wheel-like in appearance and are a major source of infant diarrhea throughout the world.


The presence of bacteria and or their toxins in the blood or tissues.


Also known as lockjaw, tetanus is a serious but preventable disease that affects the body’s muscles and nerves. It typically arises from a skin wound that becomes contaminated by a bacterium, which is often found in soil. Once the bacteria are in the body, they produce a neurotoxin (a protein that acts as a poison to the body’s nervous system) that causes muscle spasms. The toxin can travel throughout the body via the bloodstream and lymph system. As it circulates more widely, the toxin interferes with the normal activity of nerves throughout the body, leading to generalized muscle spasms. Without treatment, tetanus can be fatal.

Tinea Corporis

Also called “ringworm”, a skin infection caused by a fungus.

Tinea Curis

A fungal infection in the groin area.

Tinea Pedis

Also called “athlete’s foot” a skin infection caused by a fungus.


An infectious disease caused by the organism Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which is passed from per- son to person by breathing in airborne droplets (from coughing or sneezing). The bacteria multiply in the lungs and in some cases can spread to the lymph nodes. A person’s immune system most frequently will attack and heal the infection, causing a scar on the lung.

Typhoid fever

A bacterial disease commonly transmitted by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the feces from a person infected with the bacterium Salmonella typhi.

Vaginosis (bacterial)

An overgrowth of the bacteria Gardnerella and others, often associated with increased malodorous discharge without obvious vulvitis or vaginitis (inflammation and infection of the vulva and vagina).


Three Gram negative bacilli Yersinia species cause infection in humans:

  • Y. Enterocolitica causes gastroenteritis.
  • Y. Pseudotuberculosis causes mesenteric lymphadenitis.
  • Y. Pestis causes plague.


An irreversible widening (dilation) of portions of the bronchi resulting from damage to the bronchial wall.

Thats it for now! you can find an interesting data about new cases due to infectious diseases here!


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you know resistance will kill the world if we still abuse all ABs

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