Dictionary > Pathogen

Pathogen

Definition
noun, plural: pathogens
An agent causing disease or illness to its host, such as an organism or infectious particle capable of producing a disease in another organism.
Supplement
Pathogens are mostly microscopic, such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi, thriving in various places such as air, dust, surfaces, soil, etc.
Not all bacteria are pathogens, in fact most of them are harmless and only a few are pathogenic. Examples of pathogenic bacteria are Mycobacterium tuberculosis (causing tuberculosis), Streptococcus penumoniae (causing pneumonia), Shigella, Campylobacter and Salmonella (causing foodborne illnesses).
Examples of diseases caused by pathogenic viruses are smallpox, influenza, mumps, measles, chickenpox and rubella.
Word origin: from Greek pathos, suffering/emotion, and gene, to give birth to.

Related forms: pathogenic (adjective), pathogenesis (noun), pathogenous (adjective), pathogeny (noun).

Related phrases: opportunistic pathogen.
Synonym: infectious agent, germ.

See also: disease, virulence.

Further reading:
The BAX® System X5 for Pathogen Detection. Simple, Accurate, Validated. (2016). Rapidmicrobiology.Com. https://www.rapidmicrobiology.com/news/the-bax-system-x5-for-pathogen-detection-simple-accurate-validated


You will also like...

Direct and indirect physiologic effects of growth hormone
Animal Growth Hormones

Hormones are produced in the endocrine glands of animals. The pituitary gland and hypothalamus are the most impor..

Freshwater aquatic plankton
Freshwater Communities & Plankton

Planktons are microscopic organisms that live suspended in aquatic habitats. There are two groups: the phytoplanktons an..

Schematic diagram of bacterial lactose operon
Gene Action – Operon Hypothesis

Learn how the way genes control and determine every aspect of the body. This lesson uses lac operon as an example. ..

..

Water Cycle
The Water Cycle

The water cycle (also referred to as the hydrological cycle) is a system of continuous transfer of water from the air, s..

Independent Assortment and Crossing Over
Independent Assortment and Crossing Over

This tutorial describes the independent assortment of chromosomes and crossing over as important events in meiosis. Read..

Sugar Homeostasis
Sugar Homeostasis

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