Agents_OLS - Epidemiological Triangle: A Model for the...

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Epidemiological Triangle: A Model for the Disease Process Agent Susceptible host Environment 1. Epi triangle is used to look for means of prevention: A. Break one of the connecting legs OR B. Remove or interfere with one of the elements (corners) 2. Use of the epi triangle works best when all 3 elements and how they interact are understood, but that is not always necessary to design prevention strategies Role of the Agent in the Disease Process What are “agents” of disease? Agent: A factor whose presence (or absence) causes disease Six Types of Agents 1. Biological agents Infectious diseases Examples of biological agents: Bacteria, Viruses, Fungi, Protozoa, Parasitic worms 2. Physical agents Injuries Ex: Trauma Broken bones, abrasions, burns, punctures, internal organ damage, concussion, hemorrhage, etc. 3. Chemical agents Injuries or possible cellular damage leading to cancer development Ex: Acid exposure Lung or skin injury Asbestos dust Damage to lung cells Mesothelioma (rare form of lung cancer) Many chemical agents have statistically associated with cancer development, but direct cause and effect relationships are difficult to prove because statistical association does NOT prove causation 4. Nutrient agents Nutrient deficiency diseases Ex: Lack of vitamin D Rickets (abnormal bone development, slow growth) Lack of niacin (vitamin B3) Pellagra (“Disease of the 4-Ds”: diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia, death 5. Genetic agents Genetic diseases Ex: 2 recessive CFTR genes Cystic fibrosis disease (excess mucus disrupts function of lungs and other organs)
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Agents_OLS - Epidemiological Triangle: A Model for the...

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