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How Do Mircoorganisms Become Dangerous Pathogens? by David P. Clark

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How Do Microorganisms Become Dangerous Pathogens?

David P. Clark

Consider the story of disease from the microbial viewpoint. Infectious agents vary greatly in their ability to cause harm. Before discussing the “professional” diseases, we must not forget the opportunists. When a person is weakened by injury, exposure, or starvation, or if the immune system is malfunctioning, microbes that are otherwise harmless may cause disease. Such opportunistic diseases have received a lot of attention in connection with AIDS. Victims of AIDS suffer damage to their immune systems, hence the name acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Death results not from AIDS itself, but from the opportunistic diseases that can invade only humans lacking immune defense. These ...

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