Digestive System Diseases

Vocabulary

acute diarrhea

occurrence of more than three liquid or very loose bowel movements each day over a period of two days to two weeks

chronic diarrhea

occurrence of more than three liquid or very loose bowel movements each day over a period of two to four weeks or longer

colonization

establishment of microorganisms at a particular site

commensalism

relationship in which one species benefits but the other neither benefits nor is harmed

dental caries

area of permanent tooth decay

duodenal ulcer

open sore or raw area in the inner lining of the upper part (duodenum) of the small intestine

dysentery

condition characterized by severe diarrhea and stomach cramps with blood or mucus in the feces

enterotoxin

toxin released by certain viral and bacterial pathogens that specifically targets the intestines

gastric ulcer

open sore or raw area in the inner lining of the stomach

gastritis

inflammation of the stomach caused by Helicobacter pylori infection, heavy alcohol consumption, or certain medications

Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS)

disease in which the immune system attacks the peripheral nervous system, often after an episode of stomach flu or respiratory infection

hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS)

severe illness produced when Shiga toxin from a particularly dangerous strain of E. coli infecting the alimentary canal destroys red blood cells, causing clogging of the kidneys' filtration structures

hepatitis

any of a group of diseases characterized by inflammation of the liver triggered by wide-ranging causative agents

infection

invasion and multiplication of disease-causing organisms within a host’s body

microbiome

typical microorganisms present in an ecosystem

mucus

thick fluid secreted by specialized epithelial cells including those lining the inside of the mouth, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine

mycosis

disease resulting from fungal infection

niche factor

feature enabling commensal and beneficial bacteria to colonize a specific area within a host and evade the host's immune system without damaging the host

pathogenesis

processes involved in the cause and progression of a disease

virulence factor

feature enabling a pathogen to cause disease by releasing toxins, invading host cells and tissues, suppressing the host's immune responses, or otherwise damaging the host