font size

Definition of Attenuated

Attenuated: Weakened, diluted, thinned, reduced, weakened, diminished.

The use of "attenuated" in medicine is not new. In the 16th century, eating dried figs was claimed to attenuate the body fluids.

Now "attenuated" refers to procedures that weaken an agent of disease (a pathogen). An attenuated virus is a weakened, less vigorous virus. A vaccine against a viral disease can be made from an attenuated, less virulent strain of the virus, a virus capable of stimulating an immune response and creating immunity but not causing illness.

The word "attenuated" derives from a combination of the Latin prefix "ad-" meaning "to" or "toward" and "tenuis" meaning "thin."

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=13398
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

Drug Medical Dictionary of Terms by Letter

Top RxList Drug News

advertisement
advertisement
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations