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prophylaxis, pl. prophylaxes (pro-fi-lak´sis, -sez)

Prevention of disease or of a process that can lead to disease. [Mod. L. fr. G. pro-phylasso, to guard before, take precaution]
active p. use of an antigenic (immunogenic) agent to actively stimulate the immunological mechanism.
chemical p. the administration of chemicals or drugs to members of a community to reduce the number of carriers of a disease and to prevent others contracting the disease.
dental p. a series of procedures whereby calculus, stain, and other accretions are removed from the clinical crowns of the teeth, and the enamel surfaces are polished.
passive p. use of an antiserum from another person or animal to provide temporary (a week to 10 days) protection against a specific infectious or toxic agent.


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