The human body is heavily fortified against attack by disease-causing agents. From nasal hairs to stomach acid, to the 20 square feet or so of skin that covers us, human bodies are designed to keep out microbes that may make us ill. The system is not completely impervious, however, and at times we all succumb to one or other of the huge variety of infectious pathogens, such as:
Intramural Research Program (IRP) scientists continually seek ways to better diagnose, prevent, and treat infectious diseases. Their research occurs in many IRP Institutes and Centers, including the NIH Clinical Center, which emphasizes diagnostic microbiology and clinical diagnosis. A third area of active IRP research concerns the threat of emerging infections and biodefense, a program that is jointly managed with the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
To learn more about the IRP researchers engaged in microbiology and infectious disease, visit the NIH Infectious Disease Imaging Interest Group.