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Disease

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Term
Definition
bacteria   simple microscopic organisms that are widespread throughout the world, some can produce disease; singular: bacterium  
cocci   round bacteria; may be in clusters (staphylococci), chains (streptococci), and other formations; singular: coccus  
bacilli   rod-shaped bacteria; singular: bacillus  
vibrios   short curved rods  
spirochetes   corkscrew-shaped bacteria that move with a twisting motion  
chlamydia   extremely small bacteria with complex life cycles that grow in living cells but, unlike viruses, are susceptible to antibiotics  
rickettsia   extremely small bacteria that grow in living cells that are susceptible to antibiotics  
viruses   submicroscopic infectious agents that can live and reproduce only within living cells  
fungi   simple, nongreen plants, some of which are parasitic; includes yeasts and molds; singular: fungus  
protozoa   single-celled animals; singular: protozoon  
helminths   worms  
acute   Sudden, severe; having a short course  
benign   Not recurrent or malignant, favorable for recovery, describing a tumor that does not spread (metastasize) to other tissues  
carcinoma   A malignant neoplasm composed of epithelial cells (from Greek root carcino, meaning "crab") (adjective: carcinomatous)  
chronic   Of long duration, progressing slowly  
cyst   An abnormal filled sac or pouch; used as a root meaning a normal bladder or sac, such as the urinary bladder or gallbladder (root: cyst/o)  
edema   Accumulation of fluid in the tissues, swelling; adjective: edematous  
etiology   The cause of a disease  
Gram stain   A laboratory staining procedure that divides bacteria into two groups: Gram-positive, which stain purple, and Gram-negative, which stain red  
hernia   Protrusion of an organ through an abnormal opening; commonly called a rupture  
immunity   All our defenses against infectious disease  
inflammation   A localized response to tissue injury characterized by heat, pain, redness, and swelling  
lesion   A distinct area of damaged tissue an injury or wound  
malignant   Growing worse, harmful, tending to cause death, describing an invasive tumor that spread (metastasize) to other tissues  
metastasis   Spread from one part of the body to another, characteristic of cancer; verb is metastasize, adjective: metastatic; from Greek met/a (beyond, change) + stasis (stand)  
microorganism   An organism too small to be seen without the aid of a microscope  
necrosis   Death of tissue (root necr/o means "death"); adjective: necrotic  
neoplasia   An abnormal and uncontrolled growth of tissue; from prefix neo- meaning "new" and root plasm meaning "formation"  
parasite   An organism that grows on or in another organism (the host), causing damage to it  
pathogen   An organism capable of causing disease (root path/o means "disease")  
phagocytosis   The ingestion of organisms, such as invading bacteria or small particles of waste material by a cell (root phag/o means "to eat"); the phagocytic cell, or phagocyte, then destroys the ingested material  
prolapse   A dropping or downward displacement of an organ or part, ptosis  
pus   A product of inflammation consisting of fluid and white blood cells  
sarcoma   A malignant neoplasm arising from connective tissue (from Greek root sarco, meaning "flesh"); adjective: sarcomatous  
sepsis   The presence of harmful microorganisms or their toxins in the blood or other tissues; adjective: septic  
toxin   A poison; adjective: toxic (roots: tox/o, toxic/o)  
trauma   A physical or psychologic wound or injury  
alg/o, algi/o, algesi/o   pain  
carcin/o   cancer, carcinoma  
cyst/o   filled sac or pouch, cyst, bladder  
lith   calculus, stone  
onc/o   tumor  
path/o   disease  
py/o   pus  
pyr/o, pyret/o   fever, fire  
scler/o   hard  
tox/o, toxic/o   poison  
brady-   slow  
dys-   abnormal, painful, difficult  
mal-   bad, poor  
pachy-   thick  
tachy-   rapid  
xero-   dry  
-algia, -algesia   pain  
-cele   hernia, localized dilation  
-clasis, -clasia   breaking  
-itis   inflammation  
-megaly   enlargement  
-odynia   pain  
-oma   tumor  
-pathy   any disease of  
-rhage, -rhagia   bursting forth, profuse flow, hemorrhage  
-rhea   flow, discharge  
-rhexis   rupture  
-schisis   fissure, splitting  
dilation, dilatation   expansion, widening  
ectasia, ectasis   dilation, dilatation, distension  
lysis   separation, loosening, dissolving, destruction  
malacia   softening  
ptosis   dropping, downward displacement, prolapse  
sclerosis   hardening  
spasm   sudden contraction, cramp  
stasis   suppression, stoppage  
stenosis   narrowing, constriction  
staphylo   grape-like cluster  
strepto-   twisted chain  
bacill/i, bacill/o   bacillus  
bacteri/o   bacterium  
myc/o   fungus, mold  
vir/o   virus  
acid-fast stain   A laboratory staining procedure used mainly to identify the tuberculosis (TB) organism  
communicable   Capable of passing from one person to another, such as an infectious disease  
endemic   Occurring at a low level but continuously in a given region, such as the common cold (from en-, meaning "in" and Greek demos, meaning "people")  
epidemic   Affecting many people in a given region at the same time, a disease that breaks out in a large proportion of a population at a given time  
exacerbation   Worsening of disease, increase in severity of a disease or its symptoms  
iatrogenic   Caused by the effects of treatment (from Greek root iatro-, meaning "physician")  
idiopathic   Having no known cause (root idio means "self-originating")  
in situ   Localized, noninvasive (literally "in position"); said of tumors that do not spread, such as carcinoma in situ (CIS)  
normal flora   The microorganisms that normally live on or in the body and are generally harmless and often beneficial but can cause disease under special circumstances, such as injury or failure of the immune system  
nosocomial   Describing an infection acquired in a hospital (root nos/o means "disease," and comial refers to a hospital), which can be a serious problem  
opportunistic   Describing an infection that occurs because of a host's poor or altered condition  
pandemic   Describing a disease that is prevalent throughout an entire region or the world; for example, AIDS is pandemic in certain regions of the world  
remission   A lessening of disease symptoms, the period during which such lessening occurs  
septicemia   Presence of pathogenic bacteria in the blood, blood poisoning  
systemic   Pertaining to the whole body  
abscess   A localized collection of pus  
adhesion   A uniting of two surfaces or parts that may normally be separated  
anaplasia   Lack of normal differentiation, as shown by cancer cells  
ascites   Accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity  
cellulitis   A spreading inflammation of tissue  
effusion   Escape of fluid into a cavity or other body part  
exudate   Material that escapes from blood vessels as a result of tissue injury  
fissure   A groove or split  
fistula   An abnormal passage between two organs or from an organ to the surface of the body  
gangrene   Death of tissue, usually caused by lack of blood supply; may be associated with bacterial infection and decomposition  
hyperplasia   Excessive growth of normal cells in normal arrangement  
hypertrophy   An increase in the size of an organ without increase in the number of cells; may result from an increase in activity, as in muscles  
induration   Hardening, an abnormally hard spot or place  
metaplasia   Conversion of cells to a form that is not normal for that tissue (prefix meta- means "change")  
polyp   A tumor attached by a thin stalk  
purulent   Forming or containing pus  
suppuration   Pus formation  
AF   Acid fast  
CA, Ca   Cancer  
CIS   Carcinoma in situ  
FUO   Fever of unknown origin  
Gm+   Gram-positive  
Gm-   Gram-negative  
MDR   Multi-drug resistant  
MRSA   Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus  
Staph   Staphylococcus  
Strep   Streptococcus  
VRSA   Vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus  


   






 
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