Opportunistic Infections

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

It is possible that the main title of the report Opportunistic Infections is not the name you expected.

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Opportunistic infections are mild to severe infectious diseases in a compromised host. The infections are caused by microorganisms that normally do not cause serious disease in healthy people. These infections may occur in individuals whose immune system or other physiological defenses are impaired or compromised in some way. The inability to resist such opportunistic infections is usually caused by an underlying disease or trauma, or from procedures and/or drugs that are used to treat another medical condition.

Opportunistic infections may be caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses, or parasites. Symptoms vary according to the microorganism involved and the extent of involvement. Treatment or medical management of opportunistic infections may be difficult because some of these microorganisms may be resistant to standard antibiotic therapy. In some cases an affected individual may have a dysfunctional immune system (compromised) that is not able to fight the infection.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30333
Tel: (404)639-3534
Tel: (800)311-3435
Email: http://www.cdc.gov/netinfo.htm
Internet: http://www.cdc.gov/

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
6610 Rockledge Drive
MSC 6612
Bethesda, MD 20892-6612
Tel: (301)496-5717
Fax: (301)402-3573
TDD: (800)877-8339
Internet: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223
Email: ordr@od.nih.gov
Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/Default.aspx

For a Complete Report

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ® (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdblist.html

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