opportunistic

1. Denoting an organism capable of causing disease only in a host whose resistance is lowered, e.g., by other diseases or by drugs. 2. Denoting a disease caused by such an organism.

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op·por·tu·nist·ic -t(y)ü-'nis-tik adj
1) of, relating to, or being a microorganism that is usu. harmless but can become pathogenic when the host's resistance to disease is impaired
2) of, relating to, or being an infection or disease caused by an opportunistic organism <Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia and other \opportunistic infections that kill AIDS patients (N.Y. Times)>

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adj.
denoting a disease that occurs when the patient's immune system is impaired by, for example, an infection, another disease, or drugs. The infecting organism, which is also described as opportunistic, rarely causes the disease in healthy persons. Opportunistic infections, such as Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia and that caused by the MAI complex (see Mycobacterium), are common in patients with AIDS.

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op·por·tu·nis·tic (op″ər-too-nisґtik) 1. denoting a microorganism that does not ordinarily cause disease but that becomes pathogenic under certain circumstances, such as in immunodeficiency conditions. 2. denoting a disease or infection caused by such an organism.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • opportunistic — index mercenary Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • opportunistic — (adj.) 1889, see OPPORTUNIST (Cf. opportunist) + IC (Cf. ic). Related: Opportunistically …   Etymology dictionary

  • opportunistic — ► ADJECTIVE 1) exploiting immediate opportunities, especially in an unplanned or selfish way. 2) Medicine (of an infection) occurring when the immune system is depressed. DERIVATIVES opportunistically adverb …   English terms dictionary

  • opportunistic — adjective Date: 1892 taking advantage of opportunities as they arise: as a. exploiting opportunities with little regard to principle or consequences < a politician considered opportunistic > b. feeding on whatever food is available <… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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  • opportunistic — op|por|tun|is|tic [ ,apərtu nıstık ] adjective 1. ) looking for and taking an opportunity, often in a way that is unfair or harms someone else: Most of the robberies have been opportunistic crimes against elderly people who live alone. 2. ) an… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • opportunistic — [[t]ɒ̱pə(r)tjuːnɪ̱stɪk, AM tuːn [/t]] ADJ GRADED (disapproval) If you describe someone s behaviour as opportunistic, you are critical of them because they take advantage of situations in order to gain money or power, without thinking about… …   English dictionary

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