An infection is the invasion of an organism's body tissues by disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host tissues to the infectious agents and the toxins they produce.[1] An infectious disease, also known as a transmissible disease or communicable disease, is an illness resulting from an infection.

False-colored electron micrograph showing a malaria sporozoite migrating through the midgut epithelium of a rat
SpecialtyInfectious disease
Causesbacterial, viral, parasitic, fungal, prion

Infections can be caused by a wide range of pathogens, most prominently bacteria and viruses.[2] Hosts can fight infections using their immune system. Mammalian hosts react to infections with an innate response, often involving inflammation, followed by an adaptive response.

Specific medications used to treat infections include antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals, antiprotozoals, and antihelminthics. Infectious diseases resulted in 9.2 million deaths in 2013 (about 17% of all deaths).[3] The branch of medicine that focuses on infections is referred to as infectious disease.[4]