• H5N1

    definition

    H5N1 means…

    See avian flu.

  • Haemophilus influenza

    definition

    Haemophilus influenza is...

    Bacterium often associated with influenza, that is found on mucous membranes, but which is not the flu pathogen. It can cause serious infections that can be lethal, especially in children. H. influenzae’s genome, sequenced in 1995, was one of the first to be sequenced completely.

  • HeLa cells

    definition

    HeLa cells are…

    HeLa cells are among the most commonly used cell cultures in the lab. Their denomination derives from the name of their donor, Henrietta Lacks, an American who had developed cervical cancer. In 1951, tumour cells were extracted from her body and these cells continued to proliferate in the culture dish. That way, the first human cell line was established. Today, this immortal cell line is used all over the world in medical and cell biology research.

  • Helicobacter pylori

    definition

    Helicobacter pylori is…

    Bacterium that causes gastric ulcers and which, in chronic infections, can contribute to the development of gastric carcinoma. It was previously thought that the stomach’s acidic environment kills all bacteria. However, Helicobacter pylori invades the gastric mucosa, where it produces ammonia, a strong base, which neutralizes the stomach acid in the bacterium’s vicinity.

  • hepatitis

    definition

    Hepatitis is...

    Inflammation of the liver which may be caused by one of five hepatitis viruses: A, B, C, D, or E. Whereas A and E are food-borne, the other types are transmitted through contaminated body fluids. Hepatitis B and C can both lead to chronic illness and are the main cause of cirrhosis and cancer of the liver. An acute hepatitis infection can lead to characteristic jaundice, where the skin and mucous membranes turn yellow. Other symptoms include nausea, fever, fatigue, and muscle aches. Vaccines only exist against hepatitis A and B.

  • HIV

    abbreviation of

    Human immunodeficiency virus

    Human immunodeficiency virus. The virus belongs to the family of retroviruses. It infects human T helper cells, which compromises the immune defense and, after several years, causes AIDS.

  • hormone

    definition

    A hormone is...

    Biochemical messenger substance with a highly specific effect, secreted from glands into the bloodstream and acting on distant target cells. Examples include thyroid hormones, adrenaline, and the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen.

  • hospital bug

    definition

    Hospital bug means…

    Bacterial pathogen that is resistant to many common antibiotics. These types of germs increasingly spread in hospitals, where a lot of antibiotics are prescribed, and patients with a weakened immune system are particularly at risk. One much-feared example are MRSA's, the methicillin-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus. Only one of a handful of reserve antibiotics that may only be prescribed in rare exceptions will help with this bacterium.

  • host

    definition

    A host is…

    Organism which hosts another organism or virus. This can be beneficial to the host, as is the case with a symbiotic relationship, or harm it if it is parasite infested. The advantage for the intruder lies in using the host to obtain protection or food or exploiting its protein synthesis machinery for the production of its own proteins.

  • host-pathogen-interaction

    definition

    Host-pathogen-interaction means…

    Interaction between an infectious agent and the host it has infected. The host responds to the pathogen and tries to fight it off. Over the course of evolution, pathogens have often evolved mechanisms to evade the host immune response.

  • human pathogens

    definition

    Human pathogens are…

    Pathogen causing disease in humans.

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