a virus that attacks bacteria. Each bacteriophage acts specifically
against a particular species of bacterium.
microscopic single-celled organism, which may or may not be a
a bacterium which can cause severe diarrhoea or enterocolitis.
This most commonly occurs following a course of antibiotics which
has disturbed the normal bacterial flora of the patient's gut.
when micro-organisms reside on living tissue without causing disease.
refers to diseases or health services which occur outside hospitals.
the degree to which patients follow the instructions for taking
a course of treatment.
Consultant in Communicable Disease
Control (CCDC): a doctor,
appointed by each Health Authority, who has responsibility for
the surveillance, prevention and control of infections in the
deoxyribonucleic acid. The genetic material of nearly all living
organisms, which controls heredity and is located in the cell
management of disease, such as drug treatment, based on experience
or observation rather than laboratory investigations, x-rays etc.
a bacterium commonly associated with bladder, skin and wound infections.
the study of the occurrence, cause, control and prevention of
disease in populations, as opposed to individuals.
Escherichia coli (E.coli):
bacterium commonly associated with a wide range of infections,
including bladder infections and diarrhoea.
micro-organisms which normally reside on the skin, in the gut
and in the mouth and upper respiratory tract. They usually protect
these tissues from diseases.
a bacterium which is the cause of gonorrhoea, a sexually transmitted
a bacterium which most commonly causes respiratory tract infections
any of the parasitic worms including flukes, tapeworms and nematodes.
having normal immune responses, as in a normal healthy person.
having impaired immunity due to disease, for example cancer, or
treatment, for example steroid drugs or radiotherapy.
tests undertaken in laboratory apparatus, for example test tubes,
not in a living human or animal. Literally, "in the glass".
tests undertaken within a living human or animal. Literally, "in
the living being".
a bacterium which most commonly causes meningitis and septicaemia
any organism too small to be visible to the naked eye. Micro-organisms
include bacteria, fungi, viruses and protozoa.
the science of the isolation and identification of micro-organisms.
Medical microbiology is concerned with those micro-organisms which
cause disease in humans.
disease, as opposed to mortality (death).
a bacterium which is the cause of tuberculosis (TB).
a micro-organism that can cause disease.
whooping cough. An acute infection, usually of childhood, which
has characteristic spasms of coughing.
a bacterium most commonly associated with pneumonia and meningitis.
any means taken to prevent disease. For example, vaccination,
or giving antibiotics when patients undergo procedures which put
them at risk of acquiring an infection although they do not have
an infection at the time of the procedure.
a single-celled micro-organism, usually bigger than a bacterium,
which may be free-living or parasitic. Malaria is caused by a
a bacterium causing a wide variety of infections but most commonly
associated with patients whose immunity is impaired by either
disease, treatment or indwelling medical equipment and devices.
a bacterium most commonly associated with diarrhoea and food poisoning.
There are numerous species, one of which causes typhoid fever.
a group of bacteria which cause a wide variety of infections especially
of skin and wounds. More serious infections include blood-poisoning
and pneumonia as well as heart valve, bone and joint infections.
a group of bacteria which cause a wide variety of infections including
those of skin and wounds. More serious infections include scarlet
fever and pneumonia.
drugs given by mouth (oral) or injection.
drugs applied directly, or locally, to the part being treated,
for example to the skin or eye.
causative organism of syphilis.
an infectious disease most commonly affecting the lungs. Treatment
with antibiotics takes many months.
a preparation used to stimulate the development of antibodies
and thus confer immunity against a specific disease or diseases.
a very small micro-organism of simple structure, only capable
of survival within a living host cell.
an infectious disease of animals which can be transmitted to humans.
This glossary is based largely
on information supplied by the Association of Medical Microbiologists.