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Laporga, Stephani Grace A.


Etiologic agents

are those microorganisms and microbial toxins that cause

disease in humans and include bacteria, bacterial toxins, viruses, fungi, rickettsiae,
protozoans, and parasites. These disease-causing microorganisms may also. Be
referred to as infectious agents.

Transient or temporary skin flora

refers to the microorganisms

that transiently colonize the skin. This includes bacteria, fungi and viruses, which
reach the hands, for example, by direct skin-to-skin contact or indirectly via objects.

Resident skin flora

is the physiological skin flora, also known as

colonizing flora. It comprises bacteria such as Staphylococcus epidermidis, propioni

and corynebacteria, which do not have a pathogenic effect on the skin.

True pathogen

is an infectious agent that causes disease in virtually any

susceptible host.


are a bacterium, virus, or other microorganism that can cause disease.


infection is an infection caused by pathogens (bacteria, viruses,

fungi, or protozoa) that take advantage of an opportunity not normally available, such
as a host with a weakened immune system, an altered micro biota (such as a
disrupted gut flora), or breached integumentary barriers.

Opportunistic pathogens

are potentially infectious agents that rarely cause

disease in individuals with healthy immune systems.

Communicable disease

an illness due to a specific infectious agent or its toxic

products that arises through transmission of that agent or its products from an
infected person, animal or inanimate reservoir to a susceptible host; either directly or
indirectly through an intermediate plant or animal host, vector or the inanimate
environment. (Synonym: infectious disease)

Common Types of Microorganisms Causing Infection

A. Bacteria

constitute a large domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typically a

few micrometres in length, bacteria have a number of shapes, ranging from spheres to
rods and spirals. Bacteria inhabit soil, water, acidic hot springs, radioactive waste,and
the deep portions of Earth's crust. Bacteria also live in symbiotic and parasitic
relationships with plants and animals.

B. Virus

is a small infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of

other organisms. Viruses can infect all types of life forms, from animals and plants to
microorganisms, including bacteria and archaea.

C. Fungi

is any member of the group of eukaryotic organisms that includes

unicellular microorganisms such as yeasts and molds, as well as multicellular fungi

that produce familiar fruiting forms known as mushrooms. These organisms are
classified as a kingdom, Fungi, which is separate from the other eukaryotic life
kingdoms of plants and animals.

D. Protozoa

are a diverse group of unicellular eukaryotic organisms. Historically,

protozoa were defined as single-celled organisms with animal-like behaviors, such as

motility and predation. The group was regarded as the zoological counterpart to the
"protophyta", which were considered to be plant-like, as they are capable of
photosynthesis.The terms protozoa and protozoans are also used informally to
designate single-celled, non-photosynthetic protists, such as ciliates, amoebae and

Types of Antimicrobial Preparations

1. Bactericidal Preparation

or bacteriocide, sometimes abbreviated Bcidal, is

a substance that kills bacteria. Bactericides are disinfectants, antiseptics, or


2. Bacteriostatic Preparation

An agent, such as a chemical or biological

material, that inhibits bacterial growth.

3. Germicides

is any type of products or agents that are designed to kill and

destroy germs and bacteria on the surface of different things.
a substance or other agent that destroys harmful microorganisms; an

4. Disinfectant

are antimicrobial agents that are applied to the surface of non-

living objects to destroy microorganisms that are living on the objects. Disinfection
does not necessarily kill all microorganisms, especially resistant bacterial spores; it is
less effective than sterilization, which is an extreme physical and/or chemical process
that kills all types of life.

5. Antiseptic

are antimicrobial substances that are applied to living tissue/skin

to reduce the possibility of infection, sepsis, or putrefaction. Antiseptics are generally

distinguished from antibiotics by the latter's ability to be transported through the
lymphatic system to destroy bacteria within the body, and from disinfectants, which
destroy microorganisms found on non-living objects

6. Sterilization

the removal of all microorganisms and other pathogens from an

object or surface by treating it with chemicals or subjecting it to high heat or

radiation. Sterilization also refers to procedures that result in infertility.