opportunistic infection

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An infection that occurs because the pathogenic organism(s) causing it have an opportunity to invade a susceptible host, usually when the host's immune system has been compromised by HIV infection, the use of immunosuppressive medication or radiation, or other factors, such as debility associated with advanced old age. Common opportunistic infections include mycoses such as Candida albicans and organisms such as Pneumocystis carinii. Latent tuberculosis can be reactivated by opportunistic infection.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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