The difference between Pathogen and Parasite is easy to understand:
- Pathogen is an organism that causes diseases to the host after infection.
- Parasite is an organism that lives on or in another organism of another species. It usually derives nutrients at the expense of its host.
In this article, we shall explore more differences between the two in detail:
|Pathogens usually kill their host through diseases.||Most parasites do not kill their host but do cause some damage.|
|Pathogens typically do not require a host to complete its life cycle.||Parasites will have to depend on their host to complete their life cycle.|
|Pathogenicity is the ability of an organism to infect another organism (host).||Parasitism can be considered as a kind of interaction between two species, where one species is benefitted, and the other is harmed.|
Pathogens and Parasites
If we take a closer look at these two terms, they are related. For instance, pathogens are disease-causing organisms which are taxonomically diverse – these include bacteria, protozoans, fungi and viruses, which are not considered living entities. On the other hand, parasites are organisms that obtain nutrition at the expense of the host. Examples of parasites also include bacteria, protozoans and fungi. However, not all parasites are detrimental to their host – for example – a species of bacterium called Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron lives inside the human gut, and they provide no known benefit nor cause harm (do note that they are opportunistic pathogens). All pathogens are parasites. But not all parasites are pathogens.
- What are Pathogens? An Overview of Pathogens and their Types
- Infectious Diseases: Types, Causes, Symptoms and Preventions
Frequently Asked Questions on Pathogen and Parasite
What is the difference between pathogens and parasites?
The pathogen is an organism that causes diseases to the host after infection. A parasite is an organism that lives on or in another organism of another species. It usually derives nutrients at the expense of its host.
Do parasites cause diseases?
What is a pathogen?
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