Opportunistic infection
An infection that occurs because of a weakened immune system. Opportunistic infections are a particular danger for people with AIDS. The HIV virus itself does not cause death, but the opportunistic infections that occur because of its effect on the immune system can. See also opportunistic condition, opportunistic microorganism.

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infection by an organism that does not ordinarily cause disease but that becomes pathogenic under certain circumstances, such as with immunodeficiency disorders.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Opportunistic infection — Opportunistic redirects here. For the use in politics, see Opportunism. Opportunistic infection Classification and external resources MeSH D009894 An opportunistic infection is an infection caused by pathogens, particularly opportuni …   Wikipedia

  • opportunistic infection — noun any infection caused by a microorganism that does not normally cause disease in humans; occurs in persons with abnormally functioning immune systems (as AIDS patients or transplant patients receiving immunosuppressive drugs) • Hypernyms:… …   Useful english dictionary

  • opportunistic infection — An infection caused by an organism that does not normally cause disease. Opportunistic infections occur in people with weakened immune systems …   English dictionary of cancer terms

  • opportunistic infection — noun any infection that causes disease and occurs only when the hosts immune system is impaired …   Wiktionary

  • opportunistic — adj. 1. taking immediate advantage, often unethically, of any circumstance of possible benefit; practising opportunism. [WordNet sense 1] Syn: opportunist, timeserving. [WordNet 1.5] 2. (Med.) Causing disease only when the immune system of the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Opportunistic condition — A condition that occurs especially or exclusively in persons with a weak immune system due, for example, to AIDS, cancer or immunosuppressive drugs, such as corticosteroids or chemotherapy. An opportunistic condition may be an infection, such as… …   Medical dictionary

  • Opportunistic microorganism — A bacteria, virus, or fungus that takes advantage of certain opportunities to cause disease. Those opportunities are called opportunistic conditions. These microorganisms are often ones that can lie dormant in body tissues for many years, such as …   Medical dictionary

  • opportunistic — [äp΄ər to͞o nis′tik, äp΄ərtyo͞onis′tik] adj. 1. of or characterized by opportunism ☆ 2. designating or of an infection or disease caused by a microorganism (opportunistic microorganism) that is normally not virulent but that can cause a serious… …   English World dictionary

  • opportunistic — ► ADJECTIVE 1) exploiting immediate opportunities, especially in an unplanned or selfish way. 2) Medicine (of an infection) occurring when the immune system is depressed. DERIVATIVES opportunistically adverb …   English terms dictionary

  • opportunistic — 1. Denoting an organism capable of causing disease only in a host whose resistance is lowered, e.g., by other diseases or by drugs. 2. Denoting a disease caused by such an organism. * * * op·por·tu·nist·ic t(y)ü nis tik adj 1) of, relating to, or …   Medical dictionary

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