Infection control principles are derived from the epidemiology of infectious disease transmission, involving the interaction between host, agent and environment. Infection control practices aim to prevent infection transmission by limiting the exposure of susceptible people (hosts) to microorganisms (agents) that may cause infection. Disease transmission Transmission of microorganisms with the potential to cause infection requires the presence of three elements: a susceptible host, an agent, and an environment facilitating the interaction between host and agent. Susceptible host Host susceptibility to infection is greater in the presence of factors that alter or compromise host defence mechanisms. Factors increasing susceptibility include: immunosuppression (eg radiation therapy, steroids, chemotherapy) presence of an underlying disease process (eg diabetes, cancer) presence of devices that bypass the body’s normal defences (eg intravenous lines, urinary catheters, respiratory assistive devices
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