Pathogen Definition

Pathogens are microorganisms that have the potential to cause infectious diseases. Viruses, bacteria, protozoans and fungi are all potential pathogens

A pathogen is simply defined as an organism that has the potential to cause infectious diseases in its host. Most pathogens are able to avoid the immune responses of the host, triggering associated illnesses. The pathogen then utilizes the host body’s resources to replicate before exiting and spreading to a new host (like a virus).

Pathogens are of different types and can spread through various means – usually skin contact, body fluids, or contact with contaminated surfaces. Some pathogens exist as airborne particles. The most common types of pathogens are viruses, bacteria, and fungi.

Diseases caused by pathogens are many. Common examples of viral pathogens include common cold, yellow fever, flu, dengue fever etc.

Similarly, the diseases caused by bacterial pathogens are Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), tuberculosis, gonorrhoea etc. The diseases caused by fungal pathogens are thrush, ringworm etc.

Main article: What are Pathogens? An Overview of Pathogens and their Types

Frequently Asked Questions on Pathogen Definition

Define pathogen.

Pathogens are microorganisms that have the potential to cause infectious diseases.

What are the five pathogens?

The five primary types of pathogens are viruses, bacteria, fungi, and protozoans.

Further Reading:

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