Dictionary > Pathogenicity

Pathogenicity

Definition
noun, plural: pathogenicities
The capability (of a pathogenic agent) to cause disease
Supplement
Pathogenicity pertains to the ability of a pathogenic agent to cause disease. Examples of pathogenic agents are infectious bacteria, viruses, prions, fungi, viroids, and parasites causing disease. Their capability to produce disease is associated with their characteristics they acquired during their effort to survive in their host. The host may be a particular animal, plant, fungal, or another microbial species.
A related term to pathogenicity is virulence, which refers to the degree of pathogenicity of a particular organism.
For instance, certain disease-causing microbes are capable of producing and releasing toxins, invading tissues, competing for nutrients and the ability to suppress the immune mechanism of their host. Microbial species that are pathogenic are those that cause diseases such as smallpox, mumps, measles, rubella, ebola, etc. For instance, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes HIV infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is capable of infecting cells in the human immune system, e.g. CD4+ T cells, macrophages, and dendritic cells. They are not only able to evade the immune response and mechanism of such cells. They are also capable of gaining entry into, proliferate, and kill these cells.
See also:


You will also like...

Energy pyramid
Freshwater Community Energy Relationships – Producers & Consumers

This tutorial looks at the relationship between organisms. It also explores how energy is passed on in the food chain an..

Structural depiction of catalase, an enzyme
Protein Activity and Cellular Metabolism

Proteins have a crucial role in various biological activities. Get to know how proteins are able to perform as enzymes, ..

Buttress roots
Roots

This study guide tackles plant roots in greater detail. It delves into the development of plant roots, the root structur..

Plant biology
Plant Biology

Plantlife can be studied at a variety of levels, from the molecular, genetic and biochemical level through organelles, c..

Biological Cell schematic diagram
Biological Cell Introduction

It only takes one biological cell to create an organism. A single cell is able to keep itself functional through its 'mi..

Lights' Effect on Growth
Lights’ Effect on Growth

This tutorial elaborates on the effect of light on plant growth. It describes how different plants require different amo..

Related Articles...

No related articles found

See all Related Topics