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Chapter

Cover Infection and Immunity

Disease: virulence and susceptibility  

This chapter addresses elements in the pathogen that predispose to disease. These are collectively known as virulence factors. The chapter begins by displaying the two main categories of virulence factors: pathogen mechanisms directly or indirectly causing host damage, and pathogen mechanisms aimed at escaping host protective mechanisms, including immunity. The chapter also studies the host gene expression, genome sequencing, and deep sequencing. It then shifts to examine how genetic differences on the host side contribute to the occurrence and severity of the disease. Next, the chapter looks at the two situations in which disease is caused directly by the pathogen: pathogens that destroy cells (cytopathic), predominantly viruses, and pathogens that release toxins, predominantly bacteria. It then reviews some common complications of intestinal infection such as diarrhoea and vomiting.