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Immunization Related Terms

- M -

  • Macrophage

  • A large cell that helps the body defend itself against disease by surrounding and destroying foreign organisms (viruses or bacteria).

  • Macular

  • Skin lesions, normally red-colored.

  • Measles

  • A contagious viral disease marked by the eruption of red circular spots on the skin.

  • Memory Cell

  • A group of cells that help the body defend itself against disease by remembering prior exposure to specific organisms (e.g. viruses or bacteria). Therefore these cells are able to respond quickly when these organisms repeatedly threaten the body.

  • Meningitis

  • Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord that can result in permanent brain damage and death.

  • Meningoenephalitis

  • ['men in joe en sef uh LIGHT iss'] inflammation of the brain and meninges (membranes) that involves the encephalon (area inside the skull) and spinal column.

  • Microbes

  • Tiny organisms (including viruses and bacteria) that can only be seen with a microscope.

  • Mucosal Membranes

  • The soft, wet tissue that lines body openings specifically the mouth, nose, rectum and vagina.

  • Multiple Sclerosis

  • Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system characterized by the destruction of the myelin sheath surrounding neurons, resulting in the formation of 'plaques.' MS is a progressive and usually fluctuating disease with exacerbations (patients feeling worse) and remissions (patients feeling better) over many decades. Eventually, in most patients, remissions do not reach baseline levels and permanent disability and sometimes death occurs. The cause of MS is unknown. The most widely held hypothesis is that MS occurs in patients with a genetic susceptibility and that some environmental factors 'trigger' exacerbations. MS is 3 times more common in women than men, with diagnosis usually made as young adults. Also see demyelinating disorders.

  • Mumps

  • Acute contagious viral illness marked by swelling, especially of the parotid glands.

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Immunization Terms

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