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Definitions

 
 
 
ARO (Antibiotic Resistant Organism)
 
A micro-organism that has developed resistance to the action of several antimicrobial agents and that is of special clinical or epidemiologic significance.
 
 
 
Asepsis
 
The absence of pathogenic (disease-producing) micro-organisms.
 
This can be further divided into:
  • Aseptic technique is a set of specific practices designed to render and maintain objects and areas maximally free from micro-organisms. This is also called sterile technique.
  • Clean technique refers to practices that reduce the numbers of micro-organisms and minimizes the risk of transmission from personnel or environment to the patient.
 
 
Bacteria
 
Popularly called “germs.” Bacteria is a very small micro-organism visible only through a microscope. There are many varieties, only some of which cause disease.
 
 
 
Carrier
 
An individual who is found to be persistently colonized (culture-positive) for a particular organism, at one or more body sites, but may have no signs or symptoms of infection.
 
 
 
Colonization
 
Presence of micro-organisms in or on a carrier with growth and multiplication but without tissue invasion or cellular injury.
 
 
 
Contamination
 
The presence of micro-organisms or inanimate objects (e.g. clothing, surgical instruments) or micro-organisms transported transiently on body surfaces such as hands, or in substances (e.g. water, food, milk).
 
 
 
Decontamination
 
To remove disease-causing microorganisms and leave an item safe for further handling.
 
 
 
Disinfection
 
The inactivation of disease producing micro-organisms on non-living items.
 
 
 
Flora
 
A normal bacteria residing in a given area of the body.
 
 
 
Fungus
 
An organism that is filamentous or thread like in structure (e.g. yeast, mushrooms).
 
 
 
Infection
 
The entry and multiplication of an infectious agent in the tissues of the host.
 

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Updated Sep 16, 2015