Antimalarial

a chemotherapeutic agent that inhibits or destroys malarial parasites.

Antimicrobial

a drug for killing microorganisms or suppressing their multiplication or growth. For the purposes of this report, antimicrobials include antibiotics and antivirals.

Antiretroviral

substance that stops or suppresses the activity of a retrovirus such as HIV.

Antiviral

drugs, including interferon, that stimulate cellular defenses against viruses, reducing cell DNA synthesis and making cells more resistant to viral genes, enhancing cellular immune responses or suppressing their replication.

Arbovirus

shortened form of arthropod-borne virus. Any of a group of viruses that are transmitted to humans and animals by mosquitoes, ticks, and sand flies; they include such agents as yellow fever and eastern, western, and Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus.

Arenavirus

any group of viruses composed of pleomorphic virions of varying size, one large and one small segment of single-stranded RNA, and ribosomes within the virions that cause the virus to have a sandy appearance. Examples are Junin, Machupo, and Lassa fever viruses. Rodents are common reservoirs of the arenaviruses.

Arthropod

as used in this report, refers to insects and ticks, many of which are medically important as vectors of infectious diseases.

Arthropod-borne

capable of being transmitted by insect and tick (arthropod) vectors.


B cell

one of two general categories of lymphocytes (white blood cells) involved in the humoral immune response. When help is provided by T lymphocytes, B lymphocytes produce antibodies against specific antigens.

Bacillus

rod-shaped bacterium.

Bacteremia

refers to the presence of bacteria in the blood.

Bacteria

one of the two major classes of prokaryotic organism.

Beta-lactam

an active portion of an antibiotic (e.g., penicillin or cephalosporin) that is part of the chemical structure of the antibiotic and that can be neutralized by a beta-lactamase produced by certain microorganisms (e.g., some staphylococci).

Beta-lactamase

an enzyme that neutralizes the effect of an antibiotic containing beta-lactam.

Bioterrorism

terrorism using biological agents. Biological diseases and the agents that might be used for terrorism have been labeled by the CDC and comprise viruses, bacteria, rickettsiae, fungi, and biological toxins. These agents have been classified according to the degree of danger each agent is felt to pose into one of three categories.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement