Acronym for the porcine endogenous retrovirus, a pig virus that splices into DNA. PERV belongs to the same class of viruses as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Some of the concern about pig-to-human transplantation revolves around PERV.
- Pes cavus
A foot with an arch that is too high.
- Pest (plague)
An infectious disease due to a bacteria called Yersinia pestis. Y. pestis mainly infects rats and other rodents. Rodents are the prime reservoir for the bacteria. Fleas function as the prime vectors carrying the bacteria from one species to another. The fleas bite the rodents infected with Y. pestis and then they bite people and […]
A hospital where people suffering from infectious disease were once confined and sometimes treated. “I discovered the ruin of the pesthouse, a building where anyone with an illness who was passing through the western passages into the British Isles in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries would be quarantined and left to die.” (Jim Crace, The […]
A chemical used to control, repel, or destroy pests of any sort. There are scores of different types of pesticides which may act specifically, for example, as acaricides (against mites), fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, molluscacides (against snails and other mollusks), pediculicides (against lice), rodenticides (against rats and other rodents), scabicides (against scabies), etc.
“Ther cam a privee theef men clepeth Deeth, / That in this contree al the peple sleeth, / And with his spere he smoot his herte atwo, / And wente his wey withouten wordes mo. / He hath a thousand slayn this pestilence.” “La Peste” (The Plague), a novel by the Nobel Prize-winning 20th- century […]