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Concept of disease causation


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There are different theories regarding the concept of disease causation.

1.Germ theory of disease
Louis Pasteur (French bacteriologist) proposed this theory and later confined by Robert Koch. According to this theory , the sole cause of disease are microbes. One to one relationship between causal agent and disease. i.e. 1 organism causes 1 disease.Now , it is found that disease depend upon a number of factors which contributes to its occurrence.

2.Epidemiological triad
It states that disease is caused by interactions between agent, host and environment. Agent is an organism , substance or force presence or lack of which may initiate or may cause the disease to continue e.g. organisms, chemicals, radiation,etc. Similarly host is defined as man or an animal that afford subsistence or lodgement to an infections agents in the environment. Host factors are : age, sex, ethnicity, genetic factors, etc.
3.Multifactorial Causation
It de-emphasize the concept of the disease "agent" and stress multiplicity of interactions between the host and environment (agent is included under the environment). It explains the factors responsible for causation of chronics non-infectious disease like cancer, coronary heart disease.

4.Web of causation
It considers all the predisposing factors of any type and their complex interrelationship with each other. It is usually suited for chronic disease where disease agent is not known, but is the outcome of interaction of multiple factors e.g. Myocardial infarction.


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