Infectivity: The ability of the agent to enter a host and multiply to an infectious dose, thereby producing the infection or disease.
Pathogenicity: The ability of the agent to cause disease in an infected host.
Virulence: This term refers to the severity of the infection. A highly virulent strain of a disease agent will most always produce severe cases or death.
Toxigenicity: This term refers to the ability of the agent to produce a toxin. The resulting illness or disease is from the toxin produced by the organism/agent and not the microorganism itself.
Resistance: This term refers to the ability of the agent to survive under adverse environmental conditions. It is also a measure of the agent's fragility.
Antigenicity: This term refers to the ability of the agent to induce antibody production in the host. Agents that have a high antigenicity have a very low reinfection rate, whereas, agents with a low antigenicity rate have a higher reinfection rate.
Based on the above list of the most significant characteristics of infectious disease agents please answer the following questions or complete the stated tasks:
Identify three characteristics that you consider to be of significant importance when identifying diseases which would place those persons in a community at greater risk. (Some diseases pose a greater threat to persons likely to be exposed as a function of the characteristics presented above than other diseases.) Therefore, another perspective on this question is as follows: "If you were exposed to a disease, which of the above characteristics would be of greater concern to you as an individual."
Justify your position on selecting the three characteristics of a disease agent that you believe place those exposed to it at a greater risk.
Briefly discuss why the remaining three characteristics of infectious disease pathogens were not considered by you to be as significant as those you identified above.
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