Infection Control

Introduction

Development of an infection is dependant upon an uninterrupted process, referred to as chain of infection.

This process is dependant upon the following elements:

  • pathogens in sufficient numbers
  • a reservoir for pathogen growth
  • a portal of exit from the reservoir
  • a mode of transmission
  • a portal of entry to the host, and
  • a susceptible host

This chain of infection can be broken by infection control measures implemented by health care workers.

The chain of infection as illustrated below provides examples of the ways in which pathogenic microorganisms are transmitted from person to person.

For example, an infection may occur when a person is exposed to a reservoir of a potential pathogen. The pathogen may gain entry to the human body to cause an infection.

Download a PDF of the Chain of Infection diagram