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Entropy 2013, 15(5), 1929-1962; doi:10.3390/e15051929
Review

Deepening the Conception of Functional Information in the Description of Zoonotic Infectious Diseases

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3156 Rampart Road, Fort Collins, CO 80521, USA
Received: 22 February 2013 / Revised: 2 May 2013 / Accepted: 10 May 2013 / Published: 22 May 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biosemiotic Entropy: Disorder, Disease, and Mortality)
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Abstract

Infectious agents, their hosts, and relevant abiotic components are directly involved in the complex dynamic process of maintaining infectious diseases in Nature. The current tendency to focus on host-pathogen interactions at the molecular and organismal levels does not advance our knowledge about infectious diseases, as much as it potentially could, by ignoring the ecological context pivotal for understanding the biology of the diseases. A new model of investigation requires a dynamic shift of perspectives in the “simplicity-complexity” dimension: from virulence factors to multi-sided descriptions of the pathogens; from particular microbes to wide microbial communities; from clinical manifestations to a variety of infectious patterns; from findings of infectious agents to defining a natural focus of the infection as a self-regulated system; from single factors affecting host-parasite relations to the complex ecological context. Various aspects of interactions between hosts, vectors, pathogens, and environmental niches should be integrated at multiple spatiotemporal scales and at different levels of biological organization (molecular, genomic, organismal, population, and ecosystem).
Keywords: bacterial species; complexity; diversity; functional information; immune system; infection; host of infection; pathogen; infectious disease bacterial species; complexity; diversity; functional information; immune system; infection; host of infection; pathogen; infectious disease
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Kosoy, M. Deepening the Conception of Functional Information in the Description of Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. Entropy 2013, 15, 1929-1962.

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