1. <microbiology> Invasion and multiplication of microorganisms in body tissues, which may be clinically unapparent or result in local cellular injury due to competitive metabolism, toxins, intracellular replication or antigen antibody response. The infection may remain localised, subclinical and temporary if the bodys defensive mechanisms are effective. A local infection may persist and spread by extension to become an acute, subacute or chronic clinical infection or disease state. A local infection may also become systemic when the microorganisms gain access to the lymphatic or vascular system.
(11 Mar 2008)
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