The difference between antigen and pathogen is easy to understand:
- An antigen is a substance that triggers the production of antibodies.
- Pathogens are harmful microorganisms that can cause diseases.
As you can see, the two terms are related to one another. In this article, we shall explore more similarities and differences between the two in detail:
Table of Contents
Difference Between Antigen and Pathogen
|An antigen is a molecule
|A pathogen is an infectious agent
|Antigens are usually peptides or polysaccharides
|Viruses, fungi, bacteria and other disease-causing microorganisms
|Sources of antigens can be of biological or non-biological origins.
|Pathogens generally have biological origins – such as bacteria and fungi. It also includes non-living entities such as viruses and prions
As stated above, antigens are molecules or foreign particles that trigger an immune response and antibody production against them. Their primary role is to elicit the response of the immune system. This, in turn, stimulates the production of antibodies, which are Y-shaped proteins that help fight off the infection. Antigens are usually present in microorganisms. However, other substances such as chemicals, pollens or even autoimmune diseases can produce antibodies in the body.
Pathogens are essentially microorganisms that have the potential to cause diseases. Most pathogens have a biological origin – such as bacteria, protozoans and fungi. Non-living entities such as viruses and prions are also considered pathogens because they cause diseases in their hosts. Each pathogen has a unique antigen that binds to special receptors in the host’s body. This antigen is regarded as a threat by the immune system, and it starts producing antibodies in response.
- What are Antigens? – Definition, Properties, Types, Structure
- Explore the Difference Between Antigen and Antibody
- Antibody – Structure, Types And Functions
- Blood Groups | ABO Blood Group & Rh Blood Group Systems
Frequently Asked Questions on Antigen and Pathogen
What is the difference between antigen and pathogen?
An antigen is a substance that triggers the production of antibodies. Pathogens are harmful microorganisms that can cause diseases in their host.
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