The terms defined on this page are commonly used throughout the antibiotic use site.
Adverse drug events
When medical drugs, like antibiotics, have harmful effects; when someone has been harmed by a medication.
Type of antimicrobial agent made from a mold or bacterium that kills or slows the growth of other bacteria. Examples include penicillin and streptomycin.
A general term for the drugs, chemicals, or other substances that either kill, inactivate, or slow the growth of microbes including bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites.
Antimicrobial resistance is the result of microbes changing in ways that reduce or eliminate the effectiveness of drugs, chemicals, or other agents to cure or prevent infections.
Bacteria are single-celled organisms that live in and around us. Bacteria are necessary for us to function normally, but in some conditions may cause sickness such as strep throat, ear infections, or pneumonia.
The singular form of bacteria.
Drug resistance is the result of microbes changing in ways that reduce or eliminate the effectiveness of drugs, chemicals, or other agents to cure or prevent infections.
The study of the spread of disease, or disease patterns at the population level. Epidemiologists are often sent to investigate outbreaks.
Single-celled or multicellular organisms. Fungi can be either opportunistic pathogens (such as aspergillosis, candidiasis, and cryptococcosis) that cause infections in immunocompromised persons (such as cancer patients, transplant recipients, and persons with AIDS) or pathogens that cause infections in healthy persons (such as histoplasmosis or coccidioidomycosis). Fungi may also be used for the development of antibiotics, antitoxins, and other drugs used to control various human diseases.
The process by which a subject (person, animal, or plant) is rendered immune, or resistant to a disease. This term is often used interchangeably with vaccination or inoculation, although the act of inoculation does not always result in immunity.
An invasion of an organism by a pathogen such as bacteria or viruses, often causing an immune response from the host. Some infections lead to disease.
Long-term care facility
A long-term care facility (LTCF) is a facility that provides rehabilitative, restorative, and/or ongoing skilled nursing care to patients or residents in need of assistance with activities of daily living. LCTFs include nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, inpatient behavioral health facilities, and long-term chronic care hospitals.
Organisms so small that a microscope is required to see them. Microbes are also called microorganisms.
Referring to an infection acquired by a patient while in a hospital.
Any living thing. Organisms include humans, animals, plants, bacteria, protozoa, and fungi.
Any organism that lives in or on another organism without benefiting the host organism; commonly refers to protozoans and helminths.
Bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi that can cause disease.
The ongoing systematic collection and analysis of data. The data may lead to actions taken to prevent and control an infectious disease.
A strand of DNA or RNA in a protein coat that must get inside a living cell to grow and reproduce. Viruses cause many types of illness; for example, varicella virus causes chickenpox, and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes the acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS.
Page last reviewed: September 25, 2017