MRSA Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the MRSA article.

Abscess: A local accumulation of pus anywhere in the body. The following are some example...

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Acquired: Not inherited, or present at birth (congenital), but developing after birth. For...

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Anaerobic: Not requiring oxygen. Anaerobic bacteria, for example, do not require oxygen to...

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Antibiotic: A drug used to treat infections caused by bacteria and other microorganisms. ...

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Antibiotic resistance: The ability of bacteria and other microorganisms to resist the effe...

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Antiseptic: Something that discourages the growth microorganisms. By contrast, aseptic ref...

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Asymptomatic: Without symptoms. For example, an asymptomatic infection is an infection wit...

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Bacteria: Single-celled microorganisms that can exist either as independent (free-living) ...

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Bacterial: Of or pertaining to bacteria, as in a bacterial lung infection.

Bacterium: The singular of bacteria.

Blood clot: A mass of coagulated blood. A blood clot can block a major blood vessel, causi...

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Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is...

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Bone marrow: The soft blood-forming tissue that fills the cavities of bones and contains f...

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Breastfeeding: Feeding a child human breast milk. According to the American Academy of Ped...

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Bumps: The raised area of a bump or bruise results from blood leaking from these injured b...

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C-section: Short for Cesarean section.

Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, ...

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Carbuncles: A skin abscess, a collection of pus that forms in the skin. Antibiotics may b...

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CDC: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US agency charged with tracking a...

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Cellulitis: A spreading bacterial infection underneath the skin surface characterized by r...

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: The US agency charged with tracking and invest...

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Chemotherapy: 1. In the original sense, a chemical that binds to and specifically k...

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Chills: feelings of coldness accompanied by shivering. Chills may develop after exposure t...

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Clostridium: A group of anaerobic bacteria (bacteria that thrive in the absence of oxygen)...

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Clostridium difficile: A bacterium that is one of the most common causes of infection of t...

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Cocci: The plural of coccus.

Consultant: An individual to whom one refers for expert advice or services. The use of con...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Diarrhea: A common condition that involves unusually frequent and liquid bowel movements. ...

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DNA: Deoxyribonucleic acid. One of two types of molecules that encode genetic information...

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Enterococcus: Bacteria normally found in the feces. Two types, Enterococcus fecalis and En...

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Enzyme: A protein (or protein-based molecule) that speeds up a chemical reaction in a livi...

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Enzymes: Proteins that act as a catalysts in mediating and speeding a specific chemical re...

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Eyelid: The lid or cover of the eye, a movable fold of skin and muscle that can be closed ...

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Fever: Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 degr...

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Genes: The basic biological units of heredity. Segments of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) nee...

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Genetic: Having to do with genes and genetic
information.

Genome: All the genetic information possessed by any organism (for example, the human geno...

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Gland: A group of cells that secrete a substance for use in the body. For example, the thy...

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Gram-positive: Gram-positive bacteria retain the color of the crystal violet stain in the ...

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Groin: The area where the thigh meets the hip.

Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Heart valves: There are four heart valves. All are one-way valves. Blood entering the ...

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HIV: Acronym for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, the cause of AIDS (acquired immunodefi...

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Hygiene: The science of preventive medicine and the preservation of health. Also commonly ...

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Immune: Protected against infection, usually by the presence of antibodies.

Immune system: A complex system that is responsible for distinguishing a person from every...

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Impetigo: A skin infection caused by the staphylococcus or, less often, by the streptococc...

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Incision: A cut through skin or other tissue performed by a health care professional.

Infant: A young baby, from birth to 12 months of age.

Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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Injury: Harm or hurt. To harm, hurt, or wound. The word injure may be in physical or emot...

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Intervention: The act of intervening, interfering or interceding with the intent of modify...

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Intestine: The long, tubelike organ in the abdomen that completes the process of digestion...

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Itching: An uncomfortable sensation in the skin that feels as if something is crawling on ...

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Joint: The area where two bones are attached for the purpose of permitting body parts to m...

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Laboratory: A place for doing tests and research procedures, and for preparing chemicals a...

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Leg: In popular usage, the part of the body from the top of the thigh down to the foot, an...

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Low blood pressure: Any blood pressure that is below the normal expected for an individua...

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Marrow: The bone marrow.

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Methicillin: A semisynthetic penicillin-related antibiotic, also known as Staphcillin, tha...

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MRSA infection: Frequently used abbreviation for: Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aur...

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Nasal: Having to do with the nose.

Nose: The external midline projection from the face. The purpose of the nose is to warm, c...

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Organ: A relatively independent part of the body that carries out one or more special func...

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Osteomyelitis: Inflammation of the bone due to infection, for example, by the bacteria sal...

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Pathogen: An agent of disease. For example, Bacillus anthracis is the pathogen that causes...

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Pathogenic: Capable of causing disease. For example, pathogenic E. coli are Eschericia col...

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Penicillin: The most famous of all antibiotics, named for the fungal mold Penicillium n...

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Pneumonia: Inflammation of one or both lungs, with dense areas of lung inflammation. Pneum...

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Poisoning: Taking a substance that is injurious to health or can cause death. Poisoning i...

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Postoperative: After surgery. As opposed to preoperative, before surgery.

Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. Thi...

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Pregnant: The state of carrying a developing fetus within the body.

Prognosis: The forecast of the probable outcome or course of a disease; the patient's chan...

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Protein: One of the three nutrients used as energy sources (calories) by the body. Protein...

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Proteins: Large molecules composed of one or more chains of amino acids in a specific orde...

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Pus: A thick, whitish-yellow fluid that results from the accumulation of white blood cells...

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Recurrence: The return of a sign, symptom, or disease after a remission. The reappearance ...

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Recurrent: Appearing or occurring again. For example, a recurrent fever is a fever that ha...

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Resistance: Opposition to something, or the ability to withstand something. For example, s...

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Saliva: a watery secretion in the mouth produced by the salivary glands that aids in the d...

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Sepsis: The presence of bacteria (bacteremia), other infectious organisms, or toxins creat...

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Shock: In medicine, a critical condition that is brought on by a sudden drop in blood flow...

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Staph: Very commonly used shortened form of Staphylococcus, a very common and important gr...

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Staph infection: A staph infection is an infection with a Staphylococcal bacteria.

Staphylococcus: A group of bacteria that cause a multitude of diseases. Under a microscope...

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Strain: 1. An injury to a tendon or muscle resulting from overuse or trauma. 2. A heredita...

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Superbug: An informal term for a bacterium that has become resistant to antibiotics usuall...

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Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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Symptomatic: 1 With symptoms, as a symptomatic infection. 2 Characteristic o...

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Syndrome: A combination of symptoms and signs that together represent a disease process.

Synthesis: Putting together different entities to make a whole which is new and different....

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Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

Throat: The throat is the anterior (front) portion of the neck beginning at the back of th...

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Toxic shock: See Toxic shock syndrome.

Toxic shock syndrome: A grave condition occurring predominantly in menstruating women usin...

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Toxin: A poison produced by certain animals, plants, or bacteria.

Viable: Capable of life. For example, a viable premature baby is one who is able to surviv...

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Virus: A microorganism that is smaller than a bacterium that cannot grow or reproduce apar...

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Medical Dictionary