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Adenopathy:  lymph node enlargement

Antimicrobic:  a drug used to slow the growth or kill microbes, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, helminths, protozoa, rickettsiae, and spirochetes

Arthropod-borne:  an infectious disease carried by insect vectors

ARDS: Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. See definition on Signs & Symptoms page.

CBC:  complete blood count

CD4:  antigen of T-helper lymphocytes

CDC:  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CNS:  central nervous system

CSF:  cerebrospinal fluid

CT:  computerized tomography

DFA:  direct fluorescent antibody

DIC:  disseminated intravascular coagulation

EEG:  electroencephalogram

EIA:  enzyme immunoassay

EKG:  electrocardiogram

Electrochemiluminescence (ECL): "A method used to identivy microorganisms. It is a relatively new technique for this purpose and is similar in operation to ELISA, FA and sandwich antibody assays. A capture antibody bound to a magnetic bead captures the target microorganism. Another antibody labeled with a ruthenium tris-bipyridyl compound (Ru(bpy)32+) is introduced. A magnet is used to pull the beads to an electrode which is used to excite the ruthenium compound which then emits light. The light is detected revealing the presences of the target organism. The method is easily automated and is generally faster than either ELISA or FA." [USAMRIID, p. A-5]

Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA):  "A method used in microbiology to detect microoganisms such as bacteria or viruses. It works by chemically linking an enzyme to an antibody that recognizes and adheres to the desired microorganism. Any unbound antibody-enzyme complex is removed and chemical which is converted by the enzyme into a fluorescent compound is applied and allowed to react. The fluorescence is then detected to reveal the presence or absence of the microorganism." [USAMRIID, p. A-6]

EM:  electron microscopy

Endemic:  "A term denoting the habitual presence of a disease or infectious agent within a given geographic area or a population group; may also refer to the usual prevalence of a given disease within such area." [CCDM, p. 614]

Epidemiology: "A science concerned with the occurrence and distribution of disease in populations." [NTP]

Epizootic:  "An outbreak (epidemic) of disease in an animal population; often with the implication that it may also affect human populations." [USAMRIID, p. A-7]

Eschar:  a hard scab

Fluorescent Antibody (FA):  "A method used in microbiology to detect microorganisms usually bacteria. An antibody with an attached fluorescent molecule is applied to a slide containing the bacteria and washed to remove unbound antibody. Under UV light the bacteria to which antibodies are bound will fluoresce revealing their presence." [USAMRIID, p. A-8]

Fomite:  any object that after becoming contaminated can transmit an infectious disease

GI:  gastrointestinal

HA:  hemagglutination

HAI/HI:  hemagglutination inhibition

Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome: "Hemolytic anemia and thromobocytopenia occurring with acute renal failure." [USAMRIID, p. A-9] 

HIV:  human immunodeficiency disease

HRCT:  high-resolution computerized tomography

ICD: International Classification of Diseases

IEM:  immune electron microscopy

IF: immunofluorescent testing

IFA:  indirect fluorescent antibody

IgG: immunglobulin class G

IgM: immunoglobulin class M

Inhalation fever:  an acute, flu-like illness that begins a few hours after a heavy inhalation exposure to the causative dust or mist, e.g., zinc oxide fumes (metal fume fever) or organic dusts (organic dust toxic syndrome)

LFTs:  liver function tests

MRI:  magnetic resonance imaging

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR):  "An in vitro method for enzymatically synthesizing and amplifying defined sequences of DNA in molecular biology." [USAMRIID, p. A-15]

Prepatent period:  from the time of infection by the parasite to the time when the agent (e.g., eggs or microfilariae) can first be detected in blood or stool [CCDM, p. 616)

RBC:  red blood cell

Reservoir (of infectious agents): "Any person, animal, arthropod, plant, soil or substance (or combination of these) in which an infectious agent normally lives and multiplies, on which it depends primarily for survival, and where it reproduces itself in such manner that it can be transmitted to a susceptible host." [CCDM, p. 622]

RIA:  radioimmunoassay

RT-PCR:  retrotranscriptase PCR

Sapronoses:  microscopic organisms that can infect human beings, but ordinarily live in soil or water, their natural reservoir

WBC:  white blood cell

WHO:  World Health Organization

Zoonoses:  "An infection or infectious agent transmissible under natural conditions from vertebrate animals to humans." [CCDM, p. 624]