Bacterial infection

RJ Hay

The process of infection involves the interaction between two organisms—the host and the invader. The clinical changes result from mechanisms involved in this process, notably the micro-organism, its virulence, and the patient's immune defenses. The lesions produced often have a well defined appearance, such as impetigo or tinea cruris, but the changes may be less specific.

Several features enable us to recognise that infection is a possible cause of the patient's condition. Acute bacterial infections generally produce some or all of the classical characteristics of acute inflammation.

Cardinal signs of infection

• Swelling and oedema

• Pain and discomfort

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