Pathogens, Infection Cycle and Disinfection Methods

Conditions that favor the growth of pathogens

Several conditions can influence the growth of pathogens. First of all, warm temperatures help bacteria to grow faster and spread to other organisms easier. Thus, the temperature of a human body, for example, is a good condition for pathogens to grow. Next, moist environments also contribute to the speed of growth for bacteria. Moreover, these conditions also include the presence of oxygen, although some types of pathogens can grow without oxygen as well (Ling et al., 2015).

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Infection cycle

The cycle of infection has six elements. The first one is the agent – the organism that causes an infection. Second is the reservoir – the individual that transfers the infection. The third is the mode of escape – the path for the agent to leave the body of the reservoir and transfer to another organism. It can be respiratory (escape through one’s nose and throat by coughing or sneezing), gastrointestinal (escape through one’s secretions), and dermal (escape through lesions and wounds). The next link is the vector, the way of connecting the reservoir and the future host of the disease. It can be established through the air, direct contact, water, or insects. The fifth is the mode of entry – how the infection enters one’s body. The final element is the host – an organism that gets the disease.

Concept of Medical asepsis

Medical asepsis is the process of preventing the spread of infections by destroying the pathogen that has left one’s system.

Concept of sanitation and differences with the disinfection

Disinfection may be more effective than sanitation because it is used to destroy the bacteria currently present on the surface of one’s organism. Sanitation is meant for reducing the number of bacteria and their growth. Sanitation does not destroy all present bacteria and only lowers the rate of their occurrence.

Levels of disinfection

The low level of disinfection can kill some types of bacteria and viruses. The intermediate level also destroys mycobacteria, while the high level of disinfection is supposed to clean out almost all types of pathogenic organisms, except some complex bacteria (Jain, Clezy, & McLaws, 2017).

Methods of disinfection

Chemical disinfection is the use of alcohol, acids, hydrogen peroxide, and other substances. Pasteurization can also be used to kill bacteria and disinfect without any activating agents. Ultraviolet radiation is a way to destroy some viruses as well.

Concept of standard precautions

One should follow a set of standard precautions to prevent the spread of diseases and their transmission to uninfected organisms. It can include hygiene, protective equipment, the use of cleaning supplies, disinfection, and correct waste disposal. For example, hand hygiene is extremely important in preventing the spread of many diseases (Jain et al., 2017).

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Regulations of OSHA related to disposing infectious waste

Infectious waste is divided into multiple categories, where each type should be treated with specific precautions. These categories include contaminated sharps, blood, bodily fluids, body parts, and other infectious waste. All waste should be disposed of in safe containers that prevent leakage or spillage of waste. They should be marked and sealed before being stored or transported (Reinhardt, 2018).

Characteristic’s of Biohazard waste disposal

Biohazardous waste should be disposed of with precautions. All types of this waste should be sealed and marked with a biohazard symbol before any other activities (Reinhardt, 2018). Some of them should be incinerated, while others may be placed in special waste containers. Persons disposing of these materials should use approved containers and follow the directions for this particular type of waste.

Recommendation of OSHA related to Blood-Borne pathogen training

Training for dealing with Blood-Borne pathogens usually includes information about the epidemiology of Blood-Borne diseases, their symptoms, the ways to reduce exposure, information about protective equipment, and vaccines (Reinhardt, 2018). Training also teaches individuals to contact in case of contamination or exposure, and possible work practices to avoid or reduce exposure.


Jain, S., Clezy, K., & McLaws, M. L. (2017). Glove: Use for safety or overuse? American Journal of Infection Control, 45(12), 1407-1410.

Ling, L. L., Schneider, T., Peoples, A. J., Spoering, A. L., Engels, I., Conlon, B. P.,… Jones, M. (2015). A new antibiotic kills pathogens without detectable resistance. Nature, 517(7535), 455-459.

Reinhardt, P. A. (2018). Infectious and medical waste management. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

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StudyCorgi. 2020. "Pathogens, Infection Cycle and Disinfection Methods." September 24, 2020.


StudyCorgi. (2020) 'Pathogens, Infection Cycle and Disinfection Methods'. 24 September.

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