• macrophages

    definition

    Macrophages are…

    Scavenger cells of the innate immune system. They belong to the class of cells called phagocytes.

  • malaria

    definition

    Malaria is...

    Infectious disease caused by the single-celled parasite Plasmodium. Plasmodium spreads inside the patient’s red blood cells until they rupture. This causes the typical Malaria symptom of recurrent periodic fever. The Anopheles mosquito transmits the malaria pathogen. The disease is the primary cause of death of children in Africa. To date, a vaccine does not exist.

  • measles

    definition

    Measles are…

    Highly contagious childhood disease that is transmitted by droplet infection with Paramyxovirus, and which is accompanied by fever and body-wide rashes. Although a safe and effective vaccine is available, in countries with inadequate health care, many children still die from this infectious disease.

  • melanin

    definition

    Melanin is...

    Reddish, brown, or black pigments made from the amino acid tyrosine by enzymatic oxidation. They give colour to skin, hair, and eyes. Melanin is found in vertebrates, insects, microorganisms, plants, and in the ink of calamar. In vertebrates, melanin is synthesized by melanocytes in the skin and retina.

  • memory cells

    definition

    Memory cells are…

    Long-living B cells or T cells capable of “remembering” a prior infection. Memory cells bestow years of long-term protection following immunization.

  • Mendelian inheritance

    definition

    Mendelian inheritance means…

    Rules that describe the inheritance of traits whose expression is determined by only a single gene. Named for Gregor Mendel. Today, exceptions to these rules are well-established.

  • meningitis

    definition

    Meningitis is…

    Bacterially or virally triggered inflammation of the membranes (called the meninges) that package the brain and spinal cord. Characterized by high fever, serious headaches, and a stiff neck. Meningitis can be life-threatening and is treated using antibiotics.

  • metagenomics

    definition

    Metagenomics describes…

    Study of the total genome of all microorganisms and viruses of a certain biotope. Metagenomics provides information about the hereditary material of microorganisms that cannot be grown in pure culture.

  • minimal infectious dose

    definition

    The minimal infectious dose is…

    The minimum amount of pathogen that must be transmitted to trigger an infection. This dose is pathogen-dependent.

  • model organism

    definition

    A model organism is…

    Organism used by scientists to study biological mechanisms, e.g. of infectious diseases, and how to prevent or treat them. Examples include the fruit fly D. melanogaster, the zebrafish D. rerio, the nematode C. elegans, the bacterium E. coli, and mice. See also knockout mice.

  • monoclonal antibodies

    definition

    Monoclonal antibodies are…

    Produced by an individual clone of B cells, monoclonal antibodies all recognize the same exact epitope. They are used in medical diagnostics and research and partially also in the treatment of diseases.

  • motility

    definition

    Motility is…

    In cell biology, describes movements of the whole cells (for example, of lymphocytes) or within the cytoplasm.

  • mouse inbred strain

    definition

    A mouse inbred strain is…

    Mice with an identical genetic profile.   

  • MRSA

    MRSA is...

    Abbreviation for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Infections with this bacterium are difficult to treat because they can resist numerous antibiotics.

  • mucous membrane

    definition

    A mucous membrane is…

    Also called mucosa, this protective layer lines the inner surfaces of hollow organs. Mucosa often contains glands that secrete mucus.

  • multiresistant

    definition

    Multiresistant means…

    A term which describes a germ that is resistant to several different types of drugs.

  • mycobacteria

    definition

    Mycobacteria are…

    Bacterial species that includes a number of pathogens: Mycobacterium tuberculosis causes tuberculosis, Mycobacterium leprae causes leprosy. The bacterium’s unique cell wall structure makes it largely insensitive to a number of different antibiotics.

  • myxobacteria

    definition

    Myxobacteria are…

    Non-pathogenic bacteria that live in the soil and that exhibit social behavior by forming communities consisting of thousands of cells. They produce natural substances some of which can be used as therapeutics.

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