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Biologic Process

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Biologic process is a series of events that occurs in living organisms. Biologic processes are relevant to public health since understanding disease process helps formulate a better program for targeted audience. Biologic processes deals with the pathophysiological and molecular bases of diseases in public health, genetics, immunologic, and disease prevention and control. Basically, it reflects how health is related to individual characteristics and society. Because disease is mediated through biological processes, population health is essential since it cannot be isolated from biomedical, cellular and organismic level (Young, 2004). Advances in molecular biology together with the human genome project, hold promise for population health.


The modern advance can be traced back to the debate between modern bacteriology, the "Miasmatists" and the "Contagionists", who believed that the disease is passed from person to person through tiny organisms (Young, 2004). This led to the "Germ Theory" becoming the most influential paradigm in clinical medicine and public health leading to major advances in the development and deployment of vaccines and antibiotics (Young, 2004). This advances lead to the eradication of small pox, polio in the US, control of measles, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria through vaccination which was listed as one of the ten great public health achievements in the United States during 1900-1999 (

Though the "Miasmatists" were wrong in their thinking, their theory of social and environmental causation is still valid and advocating control improving water and sanitation leading to major advances in population health in industrialized countries and its key to the development in developing countries. Control of typhoid and cholera through improved water and sanitation and through control of tuberculosis and STDs by Antibiotics. This was also listed as one of the ten great leading public health achievements in the US during 1900-1999 (

The "Germ Theory" is now replaced by the "Black Box" due to increase knowledge of chronic diseases risk factors gained through advances in epidemiological and biostatistical methods. Example of this can be traced to the Framingham heart study that was launched in 1950 (Young, 2004). Techniques of molecular epidemiology are powerful tools used to track the origin and spread of epidemics of infectious diseases and in the study of genetic susceptibility to chronic diseases. Also, investigations into the links between nervous, endocrine, immune systems offer insights into the biological pathways between social environment and health (Young, 2004).





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