noun, plural: opportunistic pathogens
An infectious microorganism that is normally a commensal or does not harm its host but can cause disease when the host’s resistance is low.
Examples of opportunistic pathogens are:
- Candida albicans – a causal agent of opportunistic oral and genital infections in human.
- Staphylococcus aureus – occur as commensal on human skin but may cause staph infections.
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa – most common cause of burn and external ear infections, and is the most frequent colonizer of medical devices (e.g.catheters).
See also: pathogen.