Infection and Immunity

Infection leading to disease is caused by three main groups or types of organism: fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Unlike bacterial and fungal infections, which remain largely local, viral infections can affect a number of body systems at once. Treatments for fungal and bacterial infections are covered under the part of the body affected.


Fungal infections occur mainly on the skin and other warm, damp surfaces such as the mouth, groin, or vagina. Common fungal infections include athlete’s foot and ringworm, and candida/thrush. Fungal infections are an unpleasant, sometimes painful, nuisance and inconvenience rather than a threat to life (although they can be life-threatening to people suffering from immunodeficiency disorders). All forms can be successfully treated by various alternative therapies.


A multitude of bacteria can be responsible for serious illness, but not all bacteria are harmful. Many fulfill a useful purpose by balancing and eliminating other organisms in the body. A good example is the bacterium acidophilus, which is essential for keeping the bowels healthy. The overuse of antibiotics throughout the Western world in recent years has meant that many forms of harmful bacteria have become resistant to conventional treatment, so have become a major, and growing, problem. The bacteria that cause tuberculosis, bacterial pneumonia, and the skin condition impetigo, for example, are now on the increase after decades of being under control.

Alternative medicine can play an important part in effectively treating most bacterial infections.


Viruses are minute organisms that reproduce only within their host. Viral diseases range from the common cold and influenza to more serious illnesses such as mononucleosis, hepatitis, and Aids. Viral infection is also on the increase among the population. It is widely believed that this is due to a growth in the number of different viruses, coupled with lowered defense systems in many people.

Here again, alternative medicine can be highly effective in treating most viral infections.