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Glossary

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Adjuvant

Agents that increase the stimulation of the immune system by enhancing antigen presentation (depot formulation, delivery systems) and/or by providing costimulation signals (immunomodulators).

Aerobic
Requiring oxygen.
Affinity

Antibody affinity refers to the tendency of an antibody to bind to a specific epitope at the surface of an antigen, ie, to the strength of the interaction.

Agonist

Substance which changes the properties of cells via receptors at the cell membranes.

Amino acids
The "building blocks" from which protein are constructed.
Anaerobic
Requiring the absence of oxygen
Antibody

Proteins of the immunoglobulin family, present on the surface of B lymphocytes, secreted in response to stimulation, that neutralize antigens by binding specifically to their surface.

Antigen
Any substance that stimulates an immune response by the body. The immune system recognizes such substances as being foreign, and produces cellular antibodies to fight them. Antigen/antibody response is an important part of a person's immunity to disease.
Assay
A quantitative or qualitative evaluation, or test, of a substance.  Frequently used to describe tests of the presence or concentration of infectious agents, antibodies, etc.
Attenuated
An attenuated vaccine is one that has been weakened by chemicals, or other processes (passages) so that it will produce an adequate immune response without causing the serious effects of an infection.
AUC
The area under the concentration-time curve at steady-state over 24 h unless otherwise stated. It is equivalent to a single dose AUC 0-∞

 

 
Bacteria
Tiny microorganisms that reproduce by cell division and usually have a cell wall. Bacteria can be shaped like a sphere, rod, or spiral and can be found in virtually any environment.
Bioavailability (F)
The fraction of administered drug that reaches the systemic circulation.
Biodegradation
Decomposition or breakdown of a substance through the action of microorganisms (such as bacteria or fungi) or other natural physical processes (such as sunlight).
Biopharmaceutics
The study of the factors influencing the bioavailability of a drug in man and animals and the use of this information to optimize pharmacological and therapeutic activity of drug products. 
Booster
Administration of an additional vaccination to help increase or speed the immune response to a previous vaccination.
Breeding flock

A flock that is composed of stock that has been developed for commercial egg or meat production and is maintained for the principal purpose of producing chicks for the ultimate production of eggs or meat for human consumption.

 
Capsid proteins

Proteins that make up the shell of a virus particle that contains the genetic material.

Carcinogen
A substance that causes cancer.
Carrier
A person or animal that harbors a specific infectious agent without visible symptoms of the disease.  A carrier acts as a potential source of infection.
CAS Number
A CAS (Chemical Abstracts Service) Registry Number is a unique identifier of a chemical.

Each CAS Registry Number, is a unique numeric identifier, designates only one substance, has no chemical significance and is a link to a wealth of information about a specific chemical substance.

CAS Registry
The largest and most current database of chemical substance information in the world containing more than 32 million organic and inorganic substances and 59 million sequences.
CFU
Colony Forming Units. A measure of viable microbial populations
Challenge

The process of infecting an animal with a disease agent to test for protective immunity.

Chemokines

Small secreted proteins that function as chemoattractants, recruiting cells that express the corresponding chemok ine receptors at their surface and thus migrate toward higher concentrations of chemokines.

Cleaning
A process that removes contaminants including dust, soil, large numbers of micro-organisms and the organic matter that protects them.
Cmax (level, concentration)
The highest concentration reached or estimated in the compartment of reference.
Contaminant
A substance that is either present in an environment where it does not belong or is present at levels that might cause harmful (adverse) health effects.
Cytokine
Proteins manufactured by cells of various lineages that, when secreted, drive specific responses (e.g., proliferation, growth, or maturation) in other susceptible cells.
 
Decontamination
A general term for the destruction or removal of microbial contamination to render an item safe.
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)
The chemical inside the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions for making living organisms.
Disinfection
A process used to reduce the number of micro-organisms.
Dose
The amount of a substance to which a person/animal is exposed over some time period. Dose is a measurement of exposure. Dose is often expressed as milligram (amount) per kilogram (a measure of body weight) per day (a measure of time).
Dose-response relationship
The relationship between the amount of exposure (dose) to a substance and the resulting changes in body function or health (response).
 
EFSA
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), an agency of the European Union. Its permanent home is in Parma, Italy. Its primary responsibility is to provide independent scientific advice on all matters concerning Food Safety.
Electrolytes
Substances that dissociate in water to form a cation (positively charged ion) and and anion (negatively charged ion).
ELISA (enzyme-linked-immunosorbent serologic assay)
A technique that relies on an enzymatic conversion reaction. It is used to detect the presence of specific substances, such as enzymes, viruses, antibodies or bacteria.
Endemic
Disease that is widespread in a given population.
Enzootic
A disease which is constantly present in the animal community, but only occurs in a small number of cases.
Enzyme
Specialized proteins that act as catalysts for virtually all necessary chemical reactions that take place within the body. Like all catalysts, enzymes unchanged by the reactions they promote, and will initiate many reactions until they are degraded (usually by another enzyme).
Epidemic
The occurrence of cases of an illness in a community or region which is in excess of the number of cases normally expected for that disease in that area at that time.
Epidemiology
The branch of medical science that deals with the incidence, distribution, and control of disease in a population.
Epitope

A molecular region on the surface of an antigen capable of eliciting an immune response and of combining with the specific antibody produced by such a response.

Epizootic
An outbreak or epidemic of disease in animal populations.
Etiology
Causal association of a disease with an agent. The study of the cause of diseases.
 
FAO
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy. FAO was founded on 16 October 1945 in Canada. The headquarters
FDA
Food and Drug Administration. The American drug regulatory authority.
Fibroblast
A cell derived from connective tissue.
Fomite
An object that is not harmful in itself but which can harbor pathogenic organisms and thus may be involved in transmission of an infection.
Functio laesa
Loss of function; one of the cardinal signs of inflammation.
 
Gene
The functional and physical unit of heredity passed from parent to offspring. Genes are pieces of DNA, and most genes contain the information for making a specific protein.
Gene-deleted

An organism with one or more genes removed from the genome to render it nonpathogenic so it can be used as a vaccine.

Genotoxin

A substance that damages DNA. A genotoxin can cause mutations in DNA - mutagen, it can trigger cancer - carcinogen, or it can cause a birth defect - teratogen. 

Geographic information system (GIS)
 mapping system that uses computers to collect, store, manipulate, analyze, and display data.
Glycoprotein

A biomolecule composed of a protein and a carbohydrate.

GMP

Good Manufacturing Practices: The part of quality assurance which ensures that products are consistently produced and controlled to the quality standards appropriate to their intended use and as required by the marketing authorization.

 
Half Life
The period of time required for the concentration or amount of drug in the body to be reduced to exactly one-half of a given concentration or amount.
 
Iatrogenic
Related to an abnormal state or condition produced in a patient through inadvertant or erroneous treatment.
Idiopathic
Denoting a disease of unknown cause.
IgA

IgA antibodies are found in areas of the body such the nose, breathing passages, digestive tract, ears, and eyes. IgA antibodies protect body surfaces that are exposed to outside foreign substances. This type of antibody is also found in saliva and tears. IgA activity is essentially related to the mucosa immunity.

IgG
One of many antibodies present in blood serum which is usually indicative of a recent or remote infection. IgG is most prevalent about 3 weeks after an infection begins. It is the most important antibody in the secondary response.
IgM
One of many antibodies present in blood serum which is usually indicative of an acute infection. It is the first immunoglobulin to be produced after the immune response takes place. IgM is the  predominant isotype in the primary response. 
Immune system
All the organs, cells, biological substances and cell functions which, together, are responsible for defending the body from extraneous elements.
In vitro
In an artificial environment outside a living organism or body.
In vivo
Within a living organism or body.
Incidence
The number of new cases of disease in a defined population over a specific time period.
Incidence
The number of new cases in a population during a specified time period.
Infection
The entry and development of an infectious agent in the body of a person or animal.
 
JECFA
The Joint Expert Committee on Feed Additives. It is an international body of scientists supported by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation and World Health Organisation. JECFA has the ability to set MRLs.
 
Kilobase (kb)

A measure of the size of a nucleic acid molecule. One kilobase = 1000 nucleotides. Animal virus DNAs range in size from less than 2 kilobases (Circoviruses) up to several hundred (Poxviruses).

 
Live vaccine
A vaccine that contains a living, yet weakened organism or virus.
 
Marker vaccine

A recombinant organism containing a foreign gene in which, when used as a vaccine, the foreign gene or antibodies to the expressed protein from the foreign gene can be detected. Marker vaccines or animals receiving marker vaccines can be detected with specific diagnostic tests.

Metabolism
The conversion or breakdown of a substance from one form to another by a living organism.
MHC (Major Histocompatability Complex)
MHC is the name given to a cluster of genes on chromosome 16 that influenza immune response.
MIC
The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of an antibacterial is defined as the maximum dilution of the product that will still inhibit the growth of a test microorganism.
MLC
The minimum lethal concentration (MLC) of an antibacterial is defined as the maximum dilution of the product that will kill a test organism.
MRL
The maximum residue limit (MRL) is defined as the maximum concentration of a residue that is legally permitted or acceptable in or on a food.
Mutagen
A substance that causes mutations (genetic damage).
Mutation
A change (damage) to the DNA, genes, or chromosomes of living organisms.
 
Nosocomial infection
An infection occurring in a patient which is acquired at a hospital or other healthcare facility. Commonly called a cross infection.
 
Oligonucleotides
A linear nucleic acid fragment consisting of 2-10 nucleotides joined by phosphodiester bonds.
Oocyst
Egg stage of the coccidian parasite.
Outbreak
A sudden appearance of a disease in a specific geographic area.
 
Pandemic
An outbreak of disease that spreads throughout the world.
Pathogen organisms
Organism that cause disease
Pathogenicity

The ability to cause disease.

Pathognomonic
Characteristic or indicative of a disease, denoting especially one or more typical symptoms, pathological lesions.
Pharmacokinetics
The study of absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) of drugs and their corresponding pharmacologic, therapeutic, or toxic responses in man and animals.
PK/PD
The quantitative relationship between a pharmacokinetic parameter (such as AUC, peak level) and a microbiological parameter (such as MIC) is labelled as a PK/PD index (PDI).
Plaque Forming Unit (=PFU)

A measure of infectious virus particles. One plaque forming unit is equivalent to one infectious virus particle.

Plasma
The fluid portion of the blood, rich in soluble proteins with a wide range of functions.
Positive predective value
The number of truly positive cases in a population adjusted positive by a specific test procedure.
ppb
Parts per billion.
ppm
Parts per million.
Prebiotics
Non-digestible food ingredients that benefically affect the host by selectively stimulating the growth and/or activity of one or a limited number of bacteria in the colon, and thus improve host health.
Prevalence
The number of cases at a given time in a population at risk of exposure.
Primer
A short oligonucleotide sequence used in a polymerase chain reaction.
Probiotics
A probiotic is a culture of one or more micro-organisms, which benefit the host by stimulating the positive properties of its natural occuring microflora in the gut. A probiotic is manufactured by fermentation technology.
 
Quarantine
Isolation or restriction of free movement imposed to prevent the spread of contagious disease.
 
Recombination
The creation by a process of intramolecular exchange, of chromosomes combining genetic information from different sources, typically two genomes of a given species.
Reliability
The measure of consistent reproducibility of a test result under identical conditions.
Reservoir
Any person, animal, arthropod, plant, soil or substance in which an infective agent normally lives and multiplies. The infectious agent primarily depends on the reservoir for its survival.
RT-PCR
(reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction) Powerful technique for producing millions of copies of specific parts of the genetic code of an organism so that it may be readily analyzed.  More specifically, RT-PCR produces copies of a specific region of complementary DNA that has been converted from RNA.  The technique is often used to help in the identificat
 
Sarcoma
A cancer developing from fibriblast.
Sensitivity
The ability of a test to detect a disease or pathogen. High sensitive tests may generate false positive results.
Specificity
The ability of a test to differentiate between the disease or pathogen of significance and other agents. High specific tests may generate false positive results.
Standard operating procedures

The detailed written instructions that specify how a test or administrative procedure is to be performed, or how a piece of equipment is operated, maintained and calibrated.

Sterilisation
A process used to render an object free from all living organisms.
Superantigens

Proteins produced by pathogens, including bacteria, mycoplasma and viruses that are capable of simulating large numbers of T cells.

Synergistic effect
The combined effect of the substances acting together is greater than the sum of the effects of the substances acting by themselves.
 
Table-egg layer

A domesticated chicken grown for the primary purpose of producing eggs for human consumption.

Teratogen
A substance that causes defects in development between conception and birth. A teratogen is a substance that causes a structural or functional birth defect.
Titer
The concentration of a substance in a solution, or the strength of such a substance detected by titration. The term is most likely to refer to antibody titer, which is a measure of the concentration of specific antibodies to selected microbes that are circulating in an individual's bloodstream.
Toxicity
The capacity of a substance to confer morbidity or mortality.
 
Validation

Validation is defined as the establishing of documented evidence which provides a high degree of assurance that a planned process will consistently perform according to the intended specified outcomes.

Vector

A carrier which transmits infective agent from one host to another. In recombinant DNA technology, it can be (1) a self-replicating molecule of DNA that serves to transfer a gene of forgeign DNA fragment from one organism to another (usually bacteria) or (2) a virus or bacteria containing a foreign gene thet is used to vaccinate an animal.

Virus
A virus is a minuscule cell parasite. Incapable of living independently, a virus penetrates a cell and takes control of the cell’s machinery to reproduce itself, and, later, contaminate other cells.
Vitamins
Organic substances, which are necessary for the proper operation of vital functions in humans and animals. Vitamins must be provided in the diet, since the anima l body is generally incapable of synthesising its own vitamins in sufficient quantities.
 
WHO

World Health Organization. Agency of the United Nations, the aim of which is to promote health. Founded in 1947 and based in Geneva.

Withdrawal period

The period necessary between the last administration of the veterinary medicinal product to animals, under normal conditions of use, and the production of foodstuffs from such animals, in order to protect public health by ensuring that such foodstuffs do not contain residues in quantities in excess of the maximum residue limits for active substance.

 
Xenogeneic

Derived or obtained from an organism of a different species.

 
Zoonotic

Relating to a disease that is communicable from animals to humans under natural conditions.


 
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