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Chapter: Medical Microbiology: An Introduction to Infectious Diseases: Host-Parasite Relationships

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Outcome of Infection

Infectious diseases are complex. They involve much more than growth of microbes or parasitic animals in the body.

THE OUTCOME OF INFECTION

Infectious diseases are complex. They involve much more than growth of microbes or parasitic animals in the body. The factors that determine the initiation, development, and outcome of an infection involve a series of complex and shifting interactions between the invading organism and the host, which can vary with different infecting organisms. These interactions include the following:

1.   The organism’s ability to breach host barriers and to evade destruction by innate local and tissue host defenses.

 

2.   The organism’s biochemical tactics to replicate, to spread, to establish infection, and to cause disease.

 

3.   The microbe’s ability to transmit to a new susceptible host.

 

4.   The body’s innate and adaptive immunologic ability to control and eliminate the in-vading parasite.

 

Despite the complexity of interactions between different parasites and hosts, several components of pathogenic processes and principles have broad application to infectious diseases.


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