Infectious diseases are disorders caused by organisms like bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites. Many organisms normally live in and on our bodies and are harmless, but some organisms under certain conditions may cause disease. Some infectious diseases can be spread from person to person. Some, however, are transmitted via bites from insects or animals. Others can be acquired by ingesting contaminated food or water or other exposures in the environment.
Feinstein Institute researchers are studying a variety of infectious diseases that include human papillomaviruses (HPV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). They are also studying inflammation, a general response to infectious organisms. This response is critical for the body to protect itself following infection, but it can cause damage when it is excessive.