What Is a Vaccine

A vaccine is a suspension that contains a part of a pathogen that induces the immune system to produce antibodies that combat the antigen. The concept of a vaccine stems from the variolation process that was used in eighteenth-century England to protect people from smallpox. The variolation process requires that a needle tip of smallpox be placed in the vein of a patient. Nearly all the patients contracted a mild case of smallpox, which left them with antibodies that protected them from...

Control of Communicable Diseases

There are different ways of controlling or limiting the spread of communicable diseases. These methods include isolation, quarantine, immunization, and vector control. Isolation requires that a patient infected with a communicable disease be prevented from making contact with the general public. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has designated five categories of isolation strict, protective, respiratory, enteric, and wound and skin. Quarantine requires the separation of animals and...

Chemotherapeutic Agents The Silver Bullet

When we hear the term chemotherapy, we tend to think of an ongoing treatment for cancer. While this is true, chemotherapy is any treatment that introduces a chemical substance into the body to destroy a pathogenic microorganism. The chemical substance is a chemotherapeutic agent. The chemotherapeutic agent must do two things. First, it must only cause minimal damage (or no damage) to host tissues. A host is the term scientists use to refer to the patient who is receiving chemotherapy host...

The World of the Microorganism

Microbiology is the study of microorganisms, which are tiny organisms that live around us and inside our body. An organism is a living thing that ingests and breaks down food for energy and nutrients, excretes undigested food as waste, and is capable of reproduction. You are an organism and so are dogs, cats, insects, and other creatures that you see daily. A microorganism is simply a very, very small organism that you cannot see with your naked eye, but you sure feel its effect whenever your...