Infection: Four Portals of Entry

Major Portals of Entry for Infectious Pathogens into the Body

  1. Penetration: a foreign body allowing bacteria entry into internal body cavities. eg. Medical: Catheterization, surgical drains, or Trauma: wooden sliver or metal spike breaks the skin

  2. Direct contact: transmission via touch, person-person (person with contaminated hands touching another person) or person-contaminated contact surface (door knob, tap etc.)

  3. Ingestion: consumption of contaminated, toxin laden foods (Salmonella), poisonous plants or chemicals

  4. Inhalation: air-borne contaminants are inhaled into the lungs and respiratory tract. pathogens such as fungal spores or microbes, toxins, aerosol droplets of contaminated bodily fluids (sputum from a cough).

Martin, Glenn and Porth, Carol, Mattson. 2009. Pathophysiology Concepts of Altered Health States. 8th ed. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. Philadelphia.

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