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MHT-CET : Biology Entrance Exam

MHT - CET : Biology - Human Diseases and their Control Page 1

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  • Health is defined as a state of physical, mental and social well-being and does not merely mean absence of any disease.
  • A disease is a condition in which the normal state of mind, body and well-being of a person is impaired.
  • Diseases can be broadly classified as:
    1. Infectious or Communicable diseases.
    2. Non-infectious or Non-communicable diseases.
    3. Genetic diseases.


  • Diseases that are caused by pathogens and can be transmitted from one person
    to another are called Communicable diseases.
    Example: Tuberculosis.
  • Diseases that are caused by factors other than pathogens and are not
    transmitted from one person to the other are called Non-communicable diseases. Example: Arthritis.
  • Diseases that are caused due to changes in the genes and are transmitted to future generations are called Genetic diseases. Example: Colour-blindness.






  • Hepatitis means inflammatory condition of the liver.
  • There are two main types of hepatitis:
    1. Toxic hepatitis
    2. Viral hepatitis
  • Toxic hepatitis is caused by certain chemicals, drugs or alcohol.
  • It is non-infectious.
  • The most common forms of viral hepatitis are hepatitis A and hepatitis B.
  • Hepatitis A: It is a highly communicable disease, commonly known as epidemic jaundice.
  • Causative Agent: HAV (Hepatitis 'A' Virus).
  • Mode of Spread: It mainly spreads through faeco-oral route; for example, by consuming contaminated food and water or through prolonged personal contact with the patient.
  • Main Symptoms:
    1. Fever, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting.
    2. Yellowness of skin, eyes, nails and urine.


  • Preventive Measures:
    1. Maintenance of personal and domestic hygiene.
    2. Use of boiled water for drinking.


  • Hepatitis B: It is also known as serum hepatitis.
  • Causative Agent: HBV(Hepatitis 'B' Virus).
  • Mode of Spread:
    1. It mainly spreads through infected blood transfusion or through contaminated needles and syringes.
    2. It can spread through body secretions.
    3. It can also spread through sexual contact with the infected person.


  • Main symptoms: Similar to hepatitis A.
  • Preventive Measures:
    1. Use of disposable needles and syringes.
    2. Checking of blood before transfusion.


  • Treatment of Hepatitis:
    1. Recovery is through natural process.
    2. Complete bed rest is required.
    3. Very light and nourishing diet without oil and fat should be given.
    4. Injections of gammaglobulins in case of hepatitis A are effective.
    5. Hepatitis B vaccine can be taken in case of hepatitis B.


  • There are two other forms of hepatitis which are rare. They are as follows:
    1. Delta hepatitis.
    2. Non-A, Non-B hepatitis.




AIDS (Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome)


  • Causative Agent: HIV (Human Immuno - Deficiency Virus)
  • It attacks the T4 lymphocytes and gradually destroys them.
  • The immune system of the body gradually breaks down and it becomes susceptible to a number of life-threatening infections.
  • Structure of HIV:
    1. HIV is spherical in shape.
    2. It is enveloped by a lipid membrane that encloses two coats of protein.
    3. The inner protein coat contains a single st rand of RNA and an enzyme called Reverse transcriptase.
  • Mode of Spread:
    1. Through sexual contact.
    2. Through infected blood transfusion.
    3. Through contaminated needles and syringes.
    4. From infected mother to her foetus.


  • Main Symptoms:
    1. Rapid loss in weight by more than 10%.
    2. Prolonged fever for more than a month.
    3. Unexplained chronic diarrhoea.
    4. Swollen lymph glands.
    5. Night sweats.


  • Main Tests Used for Diagnosis:
    1. Elisa test.
    2. Western Blot test.


  • Preventive Measures:
    1. Avoid unprotected sex with the infected person.
    2. Avoid sex with multiple partners or a person having multiple partners.
    3. Blood should be screened properly before transfusion.
    4. HIV infected mothers should avoid pregnancy.


  • Treatment:
    1. AIDS is a fatal disease.
    2. No vaccine has been developed so far.
    3. Drugs like Zidovudine and Ribavarine are found to be effective to a certain extent.




Leprosy (Hansen's disease)


  • Causative agent: Mycobacterium Leprae.
  • Mode of Spread:
    1. Through close physical contact with the infected person.
    2. Air-borne infection through sneezing, coughing or spitting from infected person.
    3. Through insect vectors.


  • Types of Leprosy:
    1. Tyberculoid leprosy.
    2. Lepromatous leprosy.


  • Main Characteristics of Tuberculoid Leprosy:
    1. Non-infectious, few patches appear on the skin.
    2. Patient has high resistance against this infection.
    3. Generally does not produce any deformity.


  • Main Characteristics of Lepromatous Leprosy:
    1. Infectious, many patches appear on the skin.
    2. Patient has low resistance against this infection.
    3. Deformities develop.


  • Preventive Measures:
    1. Early detection and proper treatment.
    2. Isolation of patients during treatment.
    3. Maintaining proper hygienic conditions during treatment.
    4. Role of mass media in educating people.
    5. Drugs like Dapsone, Rifampicin and Clofazimine are used for treatment.






  • Cancer may be defined as an uncontrolled and abnormal growth of cells which form
    a tumor.
  • Tumors can be of the following Two Types:
    1. Benign or non-malignant - Mass of cells enclosed in a connective tissue capsule.
    2. Cancerous or malignant - Non-capsulated mass of cancerous cells.


  • Cancer can be of the following four types:
    1. Carcinomas - Cancers of skin and breast, produced by epithelial cells.
    2. Sarcomas - Cancers of bone and muscles, produced by mesodermal cells.
    3. Lymphomas - Caused due to abnormal production of lymphocytes.
    4. Leukemias - Caused by abnormal production of leucolytes. Example: Blood cancer.


  • Characteristics of Cancer Producing Cells:
    1. Cancer cells grow in an abnormal and uncontrolled manner.
    2. They do not undergo differentiation.
    3. They have the capacity to travel through blood and lymph to form secondary tumors - Metastasis.


  • Carcinogenic Factors:
    1. Excessive smoking or chewing of tobacco.
    2. Long exposure to X-rays, ultraviolet rays, radioactive isotopes, etc.
    3. Chemicals like polycyclic hydrocarbons, benzene drugs, etc.
    4. Certain viruses. For example, HIV infection can lead to Kaposis sarcoma.


  • Main Symptoms of Cancer:
    Unfortunately, cancer does not produce severe symptoms in early stages.
    However, there are some warning signals which should be noted:
    1. A lump or hand mass in breast or in any other body part.
    2. Change in colour or size of warts or moles on the skin.
    3. Unusual and excessive bleeding during menstrual periods in females.
    4. Persistent hoarseness of voice, cough and fever.
    5. Sores in mouth which do not heal.


  • Preventive Measures:
    1. Avoid smoking and excessive drinking of alcohol.
    2. Avoid continuous exposure to UV rays, X-rays, etc.
    3. Check the quality of food, chemicals, cosmetics, etc. before use.


  • Treatment:
    If diagnosed early, cancer can be treated by:
    1. Radiation therapy
    2. Chemotherapy
    3. Surgery
    4. Combination therapy



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