Adulterant: An additive causing an undesirable effect; impurity.
Aflatoxin: Any of several carcinogenic mycotoxins that are produced especially in stored agricultural crops (such as peanuts) by molds.
Antibiotic: Class of substances that can kill or inhibit the growth of some groups of microorganisms. Originally antibiotics were derived from natural sources (e.g., penicillin from molds), but many currently used antibiotics are semisynthetic and modified with additions of man-made chemical components. See Antimicrobials.
Antibiotic resistance: Property of bacteria that confers the capacity to inactivate or exclude antibiotics or a mechanism that blocks the inhibitory or killing effects of antibiotics.
Antimicrobials: Class of substances that can destroy or inhibit the growth of pathogenic groups of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi.
Asymptomatic infection: An infection where the patient does not have any apparent symptoms (also known as a subclinical infection).
Avian influenza: Highly variable influenza A of birds caused by any of the subtypes of the causative orthomyxovirus of which some strains have been or may be transmitted to other vertebrates, including humans, especially after undergoing mutation.
Bacteria: Microscopic, single-celled organisms that have some biochemical and structural features different from those of animal and plant cells.
Bush meat: Wildlife species that are hunted in the “bush” or forests.
Campylobacter: A genus of slender spirally curved rod bacteria of the family Spirillaceae that are Gram-negative, microaerophilic, and motile with a characteristic motion resembling a corkscrew, that do not form spores, and that include forms formerly included in the genera Spirillum or Vibrio of which some are pathogenic for domestic animals or humans.
Clostridium: A genus of saprophytic rod-shaped or spindle-shaped usually Gram-positive bacteria of the family Bacillaceae that are anaerobic or require very little free oxygen and are nearly cosmopolitan in soil, water, sewage, and animal and human intestines, that are very active biochemically comprising numerous fermenters of carbohydrates with vigorous production of acid and gas, many nitrogen fixers, and others that rapidly putrefy proteins, and that include important pathogens.
Codex Alimentarius: A document titled “Recommended International Codes of Hygienic Practice for Fresh Meat, for Ante-Mortem and Post-Mortem Inspection of Slaughter Animals and for Processed Meat Products” published by FAO/ WHO in 1976. It serves as an international code of voluntary standards for food additives, pesticide residue, veterinary drugs, and other issues that affect consumer food safety. The CODEX also contains rules and guidelines to promote fair practices in food trade, and recommends an international code of hygiene and technological practices. Published by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. Also called CODEX.
Contaminant: An impurity, any substance or material that enters a system—the environment, human body, food, etc.—where it is not normally found.
Cryptosporidium: A genus of protozoans of the order Coccidia that are parasitic in the gut of many vertebrates including humans and that sometimes cause diarrhea, especially in individuals who are immunocompromised.
Cyclospora: A genus of coccidian protozoans that produce an oocyst containing two sporocysts with each sporocyst containing two sporozoites and that include one (C. cayetanensis) causing diarrhea in humans.
Disease burden: The impact of a health problem in a population measured by financial cost, mortality, morbidity, or other indicators.
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid): Any of various nucleic acids that are usually the molecular basis of heredity, are constructed of a double helix held together by hydrogen bonds between purine and pyrimidine bases that project inward from two chains containing alternate links of deoxyribose and phosphate, and that in eukaryotes are localized chiefly in cell nuclei.
Emerging infectious diseases: Infections that are rapidly increasing in incidence or geographic range.
Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC): A strain of E. coli that causes hemorrhage in the intestines. The organism produces Shiga toxin, which damages bowel tissue, causing intestinal ischemia and colonic necrosis. Symptoms are stomach cramping and bloody diarrhea. An infectious dose may be as low as 10 organisms. Spread by contaminated beef, unpasteurized milk and juice, sprouts, lettuce, and salami, as well as contaminated water, the infection can be serious although there may be no fever. Treatment consists of antibiotics and maintenance of fluid and electrolyte balance. In advanced cases, surgical removal of portions of the bowel may be required.
Epidemic: Affecting or tending to affect an atypically large number of individuals within a population, community, or region at the same time.
Escherichia coli: A straight rod-shaped Gram-negative bacterium that is used in public health as an indicator of fecal pollution (as of water or food) and in medicine and genetics as a research organism and that occurs in various strains that may live as harmless inhabitants of the human lower intestine or may produce a toxin causing intestinal illness.
Food-borne diseases: Disease caused by consuming contaminated foods or beverages. Many different disease-causing microbes, or pathogens, can contaminate foods, so there are many different food-borne infections. In addition, poisonous chemicals or other harmful substances can cause food-borne diseases if they are present in food. (http://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/facts.html#what)
Genomics: The study of genes and their associated functions.
Giardia: A genus of flagellate protozoans inhabiting the intestines of various mammals and including one (G. lamblia synonym G. intestinalis) that is associated with diarrhea in humans.
Globalization: The increased interconnectedness and interdependence of peoples and countries, generally understood to include two interrelated elements: the opening of borders to increasingly fast flows of goods, services, finance, people,
and ideas across international borders; and the changes in institutional and policy regimes at the international and national levels that facilitate or promote such flows. (http://www.who.int/trade/glossary/story043/en/index.html)
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP): A management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement, and handling, to manufacturing, distribution, and consumption of the finished product.
Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS): A rare disease that is marked by the formation of thrombi in the capillaries and arterioles especially of the kidney, that is characterized clinically by hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, and varying degrees of kidney failure, that is precipitated by a variety of etiologic factors (as infection with Escherichia coli or Shigella dysenteriae), and that primarily affects infants and young children.
Hemorrhagic fever: Any of a diverse group of virus diseases (as Korean hemorrhagic fever, Lassa fever, and Ebola) that are usually transmitted to humans by arthropods or rodents and are characterized by a sudden onset, fever, aching, bleeding in the internal organs (as of the gastrointestinal tract), petechiae, and shock.
Hendra virus: A paramyxovirus that causes encephalitis in humans and is transmitted from animals.
Hepatitis A: An acute usually benign hepatitis caused by a single-stranded RNA virus of the family Picornaviridae that does not persist in the blood serum and is transmitted especially in food and water contaminated with infected fecal matter.
Host: Animal or plant that harbors or nourishes another organism.
Hotspot: As used in this report, regions predisposed to disease emergence.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV): Any of several retroviruses and especially HIV-1 that infect and destroy helper T cells of the immune system, causing the marked reduction in their numbers that is diagnostic of AIDS.
Human T-lymphotropic virus: A strain of primate T-lymphotropic virus 1 isolated from mature T4 cells in patients with T-lymphoproliferation malignancies. It causes adult T-cell leukemia and T-cell lymphoma, and is involved in mycosis fungoides, and tropical spastic paraparesis.
Infection: The invasion of the body or a part of the body by a pathogenic agent, such as a microoganism or virus. Under favorable conditions the agent develops or multiplies, the results of which may produce injurious effects. Infection should not be confused with disease.
International Health Regulations (IHR): An international legal instrument that is binding on 194 countries across the globe, including all the Member States of the WHO. Their aim is to help the international community prevent and respond to acute public health risks that have the potential to cross borders and threaten people worldwide.
The IHR, which entered into force on June 15, 2007, require countries to report certain disease outbreaks and public health events to the WHO. Building on the unique experience of the WHO in global disease surveillance, alert and response, the IHR define the rights and obligations of countries to report public health events, and establish a number of procedures that the WHO must follow in its work to uphold global public health security (http://www.who.int/topics/international_health_regulations/en/).
Listeria monocytogenes: A common species of Gram-positive motile bacilla that cause listeriosis and a noninvasive food-borne diarrheal disease.
Melamine: An industrial chemical that can cause health problems such as kidney disease.
Microbe: A microorganism or biologic agent that can replicate in humans (including bacteria, viruses, protozoa, fungi, and prions).
Microbial threat: Microbes that lead to disease in humans.
Morbidity: Disease, illness; any departure, subjective or objective, from a state of physiological or psychologic well-being.
Mycotoxin: A poisonous substance produced by a fungus and especially a mold.
Nipah virus: A single-stranded RNA virus of the family Paramyxoviridae that has caused epidemics of respiratory disease in pigs and often fatal encephalitis in humans in Malaysia, Singapore, and Bangladesh.
Norovirus: A group of related, single-stranded RNA (ribonucleic acid) viruses of the family Caliciviridae that cause acute gastroenteritis in humans.
One Health: One Health is the collaborative effort of multiple disciplines—working locally, nationally, and globally—to attain optimal health for people, animals, and our environment (http://www.avma.org/onehealth/charge.pdf).
Pandemic: Occurring over a wide geographic area and affecting an exceptionally high proportion of the population.
Paramyxovirus: Any of the family Paramyxoviridae of single-stranded RNA viruses.
Parasite: An organism that lives in or on and takes its nourishment from another organism. A parasite cannot live independently. Parasitic diseases include infections by protozoa, helminths, and arthropods (http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=4769).
Pathogen: Organism capable of causing disease.
Pathogenic: Capable of causing disease.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR): A scientific technique in molecular biology to amplify a single or a few copies of a piece of DNA across several orders of magnitude, generating thousands to millions of copies of a particular DNA sequence.
Prions: A newly discovered type of disease-causing agent, neither bacterial nor fungal nor viral, and containing no genetic material. A prion is a protein that occurs normally in a harmless form. By folding into an aberrant shape, the normal prion turns into a rogue agent. It then co-opts other normal prions to become rogue prions. They have been held responsible for a number of degenerative brain diseases, including mad cow disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and possibly some cases of Alzheimer’s disease.
Public health: The art and science of dealing with the protection and improvement of community health by organized community effort and including preventive medicine and sanitary and social health.
Quinolones: Class of purely synthetic antibiotics that inhibit the replication of bacterial DNA; includes ciprofloxacin and fluoroquinolone.
Reservoir: Any person, animal, arthropod, plant, soil, or substance (or combination of these) in which an infectious agent normally lives and multiplies, on which it depends primarily for survival, and in which it reproduces itself in such manner that it can be transmitted to a susceptible vector.
Resistance: see Antibiotic resistance.
RNA (ribonucleic acid): Any of various nucleic acids that contain ribose and uracil as structural components and are associated with the control of cellular chemical activities.
Salmonella: A group of bacteria that cause typhoid fever, food poisoning, and enteric fever from contaminated food products.
Salmonellosis: An infection with bacteria called Salmonella. Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS): A viral respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus, called SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV). SARS was first reported in Asia in February 2003.
Shiga toxin—producing Escherichia coli (STEC): A type of enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) bacteria that can cause illness ranging from mild intestinal disease to severe kidney complications. Other types of enterohemorrhagic E. coli include the relatively important serotype E. coli O157:H7, and more than 100 other non-O157 strains.
Shigella: A genus of nonmotile aerobic bacteria of the family Enterobacteriaceae that form acid but no gas on many carbohydrates and that cause dysenteries in animals and especially humans.
Simian T-lymphotropic virus: A strain of primate T-lymphotropic virus 2, closely related to the human HTLV-1 virus. The clinical, hematological, and histopathological characteristics of the disease in STLV-infected monkeys are very similar to those of human adult T-cell leukemia.
Surveillance: The continuing scrutiny of all aspects of occurrence and spread of a disease that is pertinent to effective control.
Toxoplasma: A genus of sporozoans that are typically serious pathogens of vertebrates.
Vector: A carrier—especially an arthropod—that transfers an infective agent from one host (which can include itself) to another.
Vibrio: A genus of short rigid motile bacteria of the family Vibrionaceae that are straight or curved rods, have one or sometimes two or three polar flagella enclosed in a sheath, and include various saprophytes and a few pathogens (as V. cholerae, the cause of cholera in humans).
Virus: A small infectious agent that can only replicate inside the cells of another organism. Viruses are too small to be seen directly with a light microscope. Viruses infect all types of organisms, from animals and plants to bacteria and archaea.
Wet market: A market where most of the commodities for sale are live animals or readily perishable foods.
Yersinia enterocolitica: A pleomorphic Gram-negative bacillus that belongs to the family Enterobacteriaceae. As a human pathogen, Y. enterocolitica is most frequently associated with acute diarrhea, terminal ileitis, mesenteric lymphadenitis, and pseudoappendicitis.
Zoonoses: Microbes that are naturally transmitted between animals and humans that cause disease in human populations but can be perpetuated solely in non-human host animals (e.g., influenza, rabies).
Zoonotic infection: Infection that causes disease in human populations but can be perpetuated solely in nonhuman host animals (e.g., bubonic plague); may be enzootic or epizootic.