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On the Relationship between Asymptomatic Infections and Diseases

Zach, Martin (2023) On the Relationship between Asymptomatic Infections and Diseases. Philosophy of Medicine, 4 (1). pp. 1-12. ISSN 2692-3963

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Many microbes responsible for infectious diseases are known to run an asymptomatic course in a significant portion of the population. By highlighting the conceptual complexities of host-microbe interactions, this paper elucidates the fact that while many infections remain asymptomatic, this does not necessarily mean that such infections are of no concern for health. The paper builds on the so-called damage-response framework and considers several developments required to gain a more comprehensive perspective on infections and their relationship to diseases. Irrespective of their (short-term) clinical manifestation, infections leave an imprint with consequences for health. Finally, these considerations regarding host-microbe interactions must be incorporated into policy decisions and public understanding of health if we hope to handle future pandemics such as Covid-19 better.

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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Zach, Martinzach@flu.cas.cz0000-0001-7181-0391
Keywords: Host-microbe interaction Immunology Philosophy of science Asymptomatic infection Disease
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Medicine > Health and Disease
Specific Sciences > Medicine
Depositing User: Professor Alex Broadbent
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2023 00:35
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2023 00:35
Item ID: 22842
Journal or Publication Title: Philosophy of Medicine
Publisher: University Library System, University of Pittsburgh
Official URL:
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.5195/pom.2023.171
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Medicine > Health and Disease
Specific Sciences > Medicine
Date: 2 October 2023
Page Range: pp. 1-12
Volume: 4
Number: 1
ISSN: 2692-3963

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