What is the relevance of germ theory denialism to podiatry?

The germ theory of disease is basically the concept that microorganisms or non-living agents (viruses and prions) can invade humans and can cause infectious diseases. Germ theory denialism is the belief that these ‘germs’ do not cause disease. They believe that the ‘germs’ (micro-organisms) are not the cause of disease, but are a symptom of it.

Over 100 years of experimental, observational and clinical evidence as well as the overwhelming preponderance of expert opinion support the germ theory of disease. Additionally, those who like to promote that the ‘germs’ do not cause disease almost universally refuse to come into laboratory to consume a ‘cocktail’ of infectious microorganisms to see if they get the disease or not.

Many conditions seen by podiatrists affecting the foot are caused by infectious agents such as plantar warts, onychomycosis, pitted keratolysis, tinea pedis and bacterial infections. Those who are germ theory denialists would believe that they are not infections and that the microorganisms allegedly causing them are only there as they are attracted to the tissue that is already damaged.

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