virulence

ctfaulkn at utkvx.utk.edu ctfaulkn at utkvx.utk.edu
Mon Dec 19 06:32:25 EST 1994


In Article <3cpcn8$59s at charm.magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu>
ppappas at magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Peter W Pappas) writes:

> Eric mentions another good point, and that is that the 
>definitions we are using may mean different things to different people.  What's
>virulence?  What's pathology?  Surely, the definitions of these terms are going
>to vary among ecologists, epidemiologists, pathologists, etc., so those working
>in different areas of host-parasite relationships might have quite different 
>views of such relationships.
>

	This is true, but I think it is incumbent on all who use the terms
should do so with regard to conventional usage.  When this discussion began I
made a point of looking up the distiniction between pathogencity and virulence
in Mausner and Baum's "Epidemiology", which I believe most regard as the
functional equivalent of "Clinical Parasitology", or Manson's "Tropical
Medicine", pathogenicity is the ability of an etiologic agent to induce
clinical disease in a host, virulence is mortality resulting from cases of
clinical disease. Virulence can be expressed as the Case Fatality Rate. As all
of us know, simple infection with a parasite is not synonomus with clinical
disease so we distinquish between infections which are asymptomatic and those
which result in disease.  The terminology issue is a tricky one when
communicating accross disciplinary lines.  Fortunately, we have the formal
statement of ecological terms authored by Esch et al to keep us all talking
the same language.  When I speak to the anthropologists, I always have to 
make sure that they understand that prevalence and incidence are not synonomus 
terms, and that there is a real distiniction between infestation and infection. 



**********************************
*      Charles T. Faulkner       *   When you don't know where you're
*  Univ of Tennessee, Knoxville  *   going any road will take you there.
*   (ctfaulkn at utkvx.utk.edu)     *                            Alice
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