The work of an infectiologist

Doctors who specialise in the medical treatment of infectious disease are called infectiologist or infectious disease specialist. Generally, infections are diagnosed by primary care physicians or internal medicine specialists. For example, an "uncomplicated" pneumonia will generally be treated by the internist or the pulmologist (lung physician).

The services of the infectious disease team are generally only called when:

  • The patient is immunocompromised (for example, in AIDS or after chemotherapy);
  • The infectious agent is of uncommon nature (e.g. tropical diseases);
  • The disease has not responded to "normal" antibiotics;
  • The disease might be dangerous to other patients, and the patient might have be isolated.

The work of the infectiologist therefore entails working with patients and doctors on one hand and laboratory scientists and immunologistss on the other hand.


Anton van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723) invented microscopy. During his experiments he described microscopic life.

Louis Pasteur proved beyond doubt that certain diseases can be caused by infectious agents.

Robert Koch, mentioned above, gave infectious disease a scientific basis by formulating Koch's postulates.


This type of food borne illness occur when the food eaten is contaminated with living pathogenic bacteria.

The amount and type of bacteria will determine the time for symptoms to appear. The bacteria will pass through your stomach and down into your lover intestine. It will embed themselves in the wall of the intestine and it will multiply.

Bacterial infection most often cause diarrhea (sometimes bloody), stomach cramps and fever. More...


An infection is, in effect, a war in which the infecting organism seeks to utilize the host resources in order to multiply at the expense of the host.

The difference between an infection and a colonization is often only a matter of circumstance. Organisms which are normally non-pathogenic can become pathogenic under the right conditions, and even the most virulent organism requires certain circumstances to cause a compromising infection. More...