What is the Chain of Infection?

January 14, 2014

the chain of infectionInfection transmission occurs when the agent leaves its reservoir or host through a portal of exit, is conveyed by some mode of transmission, and enters through an appropriate portal of entry to infect a susceptible host.  The six links that must all be present (and in sequential order) for an infection to develop are:  infectious agent, reservoir, portal of exit from the reservoir, mode of transmission, and portal of entry into a susceptible host.

From a Public Health standpoint, interventions are focused on (CDC):

  • Controlling or eliminating agent at source of transmission
  • Protecting portals of entry
  • Increasing host’s defenses

Breaking any link in the chain of infection results in disruption.

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