W. St. Clair Symmers, M.D., F.R.C.P.
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An infection may be described as "opportunistic" if it develops as a result of disease or therapy interfering with the body's resistance. Opportunistic infections are usually severe, with hematogenic dissemination and a high mortality. Many of the organisms concerned have little or no pathogenicity in ordinary circumstances; some are familiar pathogens. Among the organisms in the author's series were bacteria (for example, various gram-negative bacilli, Staphylococcus albus, Mima, commensal corynebacteria, lactobacilli), fungi (for example, Candida, Geotrichum, Torulopsis, Trichophyton, Aspergillus, Penicillium, Rhizopus), viruses (herpes simplex, cytomegalovirus, varicella-zoster), and protozoa (Pneumocystis, Toxoplasma). Multiple infections are frequent.
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Symmers WSC. "Opportunistic" Infections.. Ann Intern Med. ;68:1177. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-68-5-1177_1
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1968;68(5):1177.
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