The National Academies

The National Academies: What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

Treating Infectious Diseases in a Microbial World (2007)

Humans coexist with millions of harmless microorganisms, but emerging diseases, resistance to antibiotics, and the threat of bioterrorism are forcing scientists to look for new ways to confront the microbes that do pose a danger. This audio podcast, based on the report by the same name, identifies innovative approaches to the development of antimicrobial drugs and vaccines based on a greater understanding of how the human immune system interacts with both good and bad microbes. The report concludes that the development of a single superdrug to fight all infectious agents is unrealistic.

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What do you know about infectious disease?

True or False: Infection with a pathogen (a disease-causing microbe) does not necessarily lead to disease.

  • Correct!

    Infection occurs when viruses, bacteria, or other microbes enter your body and begin to multiply. Disease follows when the cells in your body are damaged as a result of infection, and signs and symptoms of an illness appear.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Infection occurs when viruses, bacteria, or other microbes enter your body and begin to multiply. Disease follows when the cells in your body are damaged as a result of infection, and signs and symptoms of an illness appear.