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Definition of Opportunistic infection

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Opportunistic infection: An infection that occurs because of a weakened immune system. Opportunistic infections are a particular danger for people with AIDS. The HIV virus itself does not cause death, but the opportunistic infections that occur because of its effect on the immune system can.

See also opportunistic condition, opportunistic microorganism.

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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