Here are some definitions of the scientific terms used throughout our website :

Alzheimer’s disease – progressive mental deterioration of the brain, usually occurring in middle to old age.

Antibodies specific proteins created to be complimentary to different antigens within the body. They travel in the blood and are part of the immune system, defending the body against anything seen as alien e.g bacteria and viruses.
Antigens foreign substances which induce an immune response, most commonly, the production of antibodies.

Autism spectrum disorder a broad term describing a variety of development disorders affecting social and communication skills.
Bacteriophage (phage) – viruses which can infect bacteria and replicate within them.

Biofilm a solid layer of microorganisms along with the polymers they secrete which strongly adhere to each other and / or a surface.

Borrelia spp. – an obligate parasite and a member of the phylum Spirochaetes. Some species of Borrelia are known to cause Lyme disease and are spread by ticks.

Borrelia burgdorferi a bacterial species of the spirochete class of the genus Borrelia.

Chronic infection refers to a long term infection which persists consistently or is recurring.

Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) – a laboratory technique used to detect the presence of an antibody or antigen.

Eukaryote an organism where the cell or cells contain DNA in the form of chromosomes within a membrane bound nucleus.

Genus the subdivision of a family or subfamily in the classification of organisms, usually consisting of more than one species.

Horizontal Gene Transfer the movement of genetic material between organisms other than from parent to offspring.

Lyme Disease a bacterial infection which leads to an inflammatory disease and can present with many varying symptoms.

Lysed when a cell is ruptured to expose its contents.

Multiple sclerosis a lifelong condition which affects the brain and spinal cord causing a range of symptoms. These can include but are not limited to: mobility issues; problems with thinking, learning and planning; and problems with speech.

Neurobehavioural condition – diseases related to the action of the nervous system and behaviour of the individual. For example: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Neurodegenerative condition – a broad term used to describe conditions where the neurons in the human brain are affected / destroyed. They are debilitating diseases that result in progressive degeneration leading to decreased mobility and mental functioning. For example: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS); Multiple Sclerosis (MS); Alzheimer’s Disease (AD); Parkinson’s Disease (PD).

Obligate parasite a parasite which needs to use a host to complete its lifecycle.

Parkinson’s disease – a progressive neurological condition which causes problems in the brain and worsens over time.

Pathology structural and functional deviations from the normal state which constitute disease or characterize a particular disease.

Phylum the primary subdivision of a taxonomic kingdom.

Physiology the way in which an organism functions.

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) – a laboratory technique used to exponentially amplify a section of target DNA.

Prokaryote single celled organisms which do not have a membrane bound nucleus, mitochondria or any other membrane bound organelle.

Strain a strain of bacteria (e.g a strain of Borrelia) is a subtype of the species.

Vectors an organism which transfers infection from one host to another.

Western Blot a laboratory technique used to detect specific proteins from a mixture of proteins.