Casals-Ariet, Jordi: (1911-2004) Spanish-born American physician and viral epidemiologist who discovered Lassa virus in 1969. Dr. Casals nearly died in the process.
Casals’s team at Yale University found the Lassa virus in the blood of three American missionary nurses who had contracted Lassa fever in northern Nigeria. The Yale team obtained evidence of a new virus and, following custom, named the virus for the place where it was first detected — a village in Nigeria named Lassa.
The discovery of the virus and the laboratory accidents surrounding it — a lab colleague of Casals also contracted Lassa fever — led to new standards of laboratory safety. The Lassa virus story also led to recommendations for stricter isolation precautions in transporting sick passengers.
Lassa virus was not the only virus that Dr. Casals discovered. He found many. He also developed an effective classification system for viruses, particularly those spread by mosquitoes and other insects.
Cascade: A sequence of successive activation reactions involving enzymes (enzyme cascade) or hormones (hormone cascade) characterized by a series of amplifications of an initial stimulus. In blood coagulation, for example, each enzyme activates the next until the final product, the fibrin clot, is reached.
- Case-fatality proportion
Case-fatality proportion: The number of cases of a disease ending in death compared to the number of cases of the disease. Usually expressed as a percentage.
- Case-to-infection ratio
Case-to-infection ratio: The ratio of the number of cases of a disease compared to the number of infections with the agent that causes the disease. Also called the case-to-infection proportion.
Caseous: Cheeselike. In caseous lymphadenitis, the lymph nodes turn into a soft, dry, crumbly mass resembling cheese, usually due to tuberculosis or a related infection. From caseum, the Latin word for cheese.
- Caspase 3
Caspase 3: An enzyme that plays a key role in programmed cell death, or apoptosis. Caspase 3 has been called the “henchman that goes around and executes the cell.” It is a member of the family of asparate-specific cysteinyl proteases and is also known as caspase-3, CPP32, apopain, or YAMA.