Dictionary > Intermediate host

Intermediate host

Definition
noun, plural: intermediate hosts
(parasitology) The host harbouring a parasite that primarily grows but not to the point of reaching (sexual) maturity
Supplement
An intermediate host often acts as vector of parasite to reach its definitive host (where it will become mature). Thus, the intermediate host serves only as a site wherein the parasite spends a particular developmental stage of its life cycle (i.e. larval stage).
For example, some tapeworms make use of cows, pigs, and fish as intermediate hosts. When any of these animals ingests a tapeworm egg, the egg hatches and the larva moves from the intestine to the muscle of the animal where it forms a cyst. Human ingesting a partially cooked or raw meat containing the cyst may eventually harbour the parasite when the larva moves out of the cyst and grows into its mature or reproductive form and begin to reproduce inside the definitive human host.
Synonym(s):

  • secondary host

Compare:

  • definitive host
  • Mentioned in:


    You will also like...

    Lentic community
    Freshwater Communities & Lentic Waters

    Lentic or still water communities can vary greatly in appearance -- from a small temporary puddle to a large lake. The s..

    Sugar Homeostasis
    Sugar Homeostasis

    The blood sugar level is regulated by two hormones. The mechanism behind this type of negative feedback control is descr..

    A chart depicting Mendel's Law of Dominance
    Mendel’s Law & Mendelian Genetics

    One of Mendel’s law of inheritance is the “law of dominance”. Read this tutorial to know more about this form of i..

    Human gastrointestinal tract
    Human Biology – Food and Digestion

    This tutorial recognizes the importance of food as a source of energy that will fuel many biological processes. A good d..

    Fossil trilobite imprint in the sediment
    Insects

    There are more species of insects than any other species combined. This surely illustrates that insects have the selecti..

    Chemical effects on plant growth and development
    Effect of Chemicals on Growth & Development in Organisms

    Plants and animals need elements, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium for proper growth and developme..