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Encyclopedia > Pathogen

A pathogen (from Greek pathos, suffering/emotion, and gene, to give birth to), infectious agent, or more commonly germ, is a biological agent that causes disease or illness to its host.[1] The term is most often used for agents that disrupt the normal physiology of a multicellular animal or plant. However, pathogens can infect unicellular organisms from all of the biological kingdoms. The term pathogen is derived from the Greek παθογένεια, "that which produces suffering." There are several substrates and pathways where by pathogens can invade a host; the principal pathways have different episodic time frames, but soil contamination has the longest or most persistent potential for harboring a pathogen. Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links Emblem-important. ... A sampling of Bacillus anthracis—Anthrax A biological agent is an infectious disease or toxin that can be used in bioterrorism or biological warfare. ... This article is about the medical term. ... Illness (sometimes referred to as ill-health) can be defined as a state of poor health. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Wild-type Caenorhabditis elegans hermaphrodite stained to highlight the nuclei of all cells Multicellular organisms are organisms consisting of more than one cell, and having differentiated cells that perform specialized functions. ... A microorganism or microbe is an organism that is so small that it is microscopic (invisible to the naked eye). ... The hierarchy of scientific classifications major eight taxonomic ranks. ... Excavation of leaking underground storage tank causing soil contamination Soil pollution comprises the pollution of soils with materials, mostly chemicals, that are out of place or are present at concentrations higher than normal which may have adverse effects on humans or other organisms. ...

The body contains many natural defenses against some of the common pathogens (such as Pneumocystis) in the form of the human immune system and by some "helpful" bacteria present in the human body's normal flora. However, if the immune system or "good" bacteria is damaged in any way (such as by chemotherapy, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), or antibiotics being taken to kill other pathogens), pathogenic bacteria that were being held at bay can proliferate and cause harm to the host. Such cases are called opportunistic infections. Species Pneumocystis jiroveci (formerly ) Pneumocystis murina Pneumocystis A Pneumonia that affects individuals whose immunological defenses (immune system) have been compromised, that is caused by a microorganism (Pneumocystis Carinii) and that attacks esp. ... A scanning electron microscope image of a single neutrophil (yellow), engulfing anthrax bacteria (orange). ... Phyla Actinobacteria Aquificae Chlamydiae Bacteroidetes/Chlorobi Chloroflexi Chrysiogenetes Cyanobacteria Deferribacteres Deinococcus-Thermus Dictyoglomi Fibrobacteres/Acidobacteria Firmicutes Fusobacteria Gemmatimonadetes Lentisphaerae Nitrospirae Planctomycetes Proteobacteria Spirochaetes Thermodesulfobacteria Thermomicrobia Thermotogae Verrucomicrobia Bacteria (singular: bacterium) are unicellular microorganisms. ... Chemotherapy, in its most general sense, refers to treatment of disease by chemicals that kill cells, specifically those of micro-organisms or cancer. ... Species Human immunodeficiency virus 1 Human immunodeficiency virus 2 Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a retrovirus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS, a condition in humans in which the immune system begins to fail, leading to life-threatening opportunistic infections). ... Staphylococcus aureus - Antibiotics test plate. ... Phyla Actinobacteria Aquificae Chlamydiae Bacteroidetes/Chlorobi Chloroflexi Chrysiogenetes Cyanobacteria Deferribacteres Deinococcus-Thermus Dictyoglomi Fibrobacteres/Acidobacteria Firmicutes Fusobacteria Gemmatimonadetes Lentisphaerae Nitrospirae Planctomycetes Proteobacteria Spirochaetes Thermodesulfobacteria Thermomicrobia Thermotogae Verrucomicrobia Bacteria (singular: bacterium) are unicellular microorganisms. ... Opportunistic infections are infections caused by organisms and usually do not cause disease in a person with a healthy immune system, but can affect people with a poorly functioning or suppressed immune system. ...

Some pathogens (such as the bacterium Yersinia pestis, which may have caused the Black Plague, the Variola virus, and the Malaria protozoa) have been responsible for massive numbers of casualties and have had numerous effects on afflicted groups. Of particular note in modern times is HIV, which is known to have infected several million humans globally, along with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the Influenza virus. Today, while many medical advances have been made to safeguard against infection by pathogens, through the use of vaccination, antibiotics, and fungicide, pathogens continue to threaten human life. Social advances such as food safety, hygiene, and water treatment have reduced the threat from some pathogens. Binomial name (Lehmann & Neumann, 1896) van Loghem 1944 Yersinia pestis (Pasteurella pestis) is a Gram-negative facultative anaerobic bipolar-staining (giving it a safety pin appearance) bacillus bacterium belonging to the family Enterobacteriaceae. ... This article concerns the epidemic of the mid-14th century. ... Smallpox (also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera) is a highly contagious disease unique to humans. ... Malaria is a vector-borne infectious disease caused by protozoan parasites. ... SARS redirects here. ... Flu redirects here. ... A vial of the vaccine against influenza. ... An antibiotic is a drug that kills or slows the growth of bacteria. ... A Fungicide is one of three main methods of pest control- chemical control of fungi in this case. ... Food safety is a scientific discipline describing the handling, preparation, and storage of food in ways that prevent Foodborne illness. ... Hygiene refers to practices associated with ensuring good health and cleanliness. ... A water treatment plant in northern Portugal. ...


Types of pathogens

Below is a list of different types of notable pathogens as categorized by their structural characteristics, and some of their known effects on infected host.

Pathogenic bacteria

Main article: Pathogenic bacteria

Although the vast majority of bacteria are harmless or beneficial, a few pathogenic bacteria cause infectious diseases. The most common bacterial disease is tuberculosis, caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which kills about 2 million people a year, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. Pathogenic bacteria contribute to other globally important diseases, such as pneumonia, which can be caused by bacteria such as Streptococcus and Pseudomonas, and foodborne illnesses, which can be caused by bacteria such as Shigella, Campylobacter and Salmonella. Pathogenic bacteria also cause infections such as tetanus, typhoid fever, diphtheria, syphilis and leprosy. Tuberculosis (abbreviated as TB for tubercle bacillus or Tuberculosis) is a common and deadly infectious disease caused by mycobacteria, mainly Mycobacterium tuberculosis. ... Binomial name Zopf 1883 Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the bacterium that causes most cases of tuberculosis. ... This article is about human pneumonia. ... Species S. agalactiae S. bovis S. mutans S. pneumoniae S. pyogenes S. salivarius S. sanguinis S. suis Streptococcus viridans Streptococcus uberis etc. ... Type species Pseudomonas aeruginosa Species group P. aeruginosa P. alcaligenes P. anguilliseptica P. argentinensis P. borbori P. citronellolis P. flavescens P. mendocina P. nitroreducens P. oleovorans P. pseudoalcaligenes P. resinovorans P. straminea group P. aurantiaca P. aureofaciens P. chlororaphis P. fragi P. lundensis P. taetrolens group P. antarctica P. azotoformans... Species S. boydii S. dysenteriae S. flexneri S. sonnei This article is about the bacteria. ... Species C. fetus C. jejuni Campylobacter is a genus of Gram-negative bacteria. ... Species S. enterica This article is about the bacteria. ... Tetanus is a medical condition that is characterized by a prolonged contraction of skeletal muscle fibers. ... For a similar disease with a similar name, see typhus. ... Syphilis is a curable sexually transmitted disease caused by the Treponema pallidum spirochete. ... For the malady found in the Hebrew Bible, see the article Tzaraath. ...

Pathogenic viruses

Further information: Table of clinically important viruses

Pathogenic viruses are mainly those of the families of: Adenoviridae, Picornaviridae, Herpesviridae, Hepadnaviridae, Flaviviridae, Retroviridae, Orthomyxoviridae, Paramyxoviridae, Papovaviridae, Rhabdoviridae, Togaviridae. Genera Aviadenovirus Atadenovirus Mastadenovirus Siadenovirus Adenoviruses are viruses of the family Adenoviridae. ... Genera Enterovirus Rhinovirus Hepatovirus Cardiovirus Apthovirus Parechovirus Erbovirus Kobuvirus Teschovirus Picornaviruses are viruses that belong to the family Picornaviridae. ... Genera Subfamily Alphaherpesvirinae    Simplexvirus    Varicellovirus    Mardivirus    Iltovirus Subfamily Betaherpesvirinae    Cytomegalovirus    Muromegalovirus    Roseolovirus Subfamily Gammaherpesvirinae    Lymphocryptovirus    Rhadinovirus Unassigned    Ictalurivirus The Herpesviridae are a family of DNA viruses that cause diseases in humans and animals. ... Genera Orthohepadnavirus Avihepadnavirus Hepadnaviruses are the viruses in the family Hepadnaviridae. ... Genera Flavivirus Pestivirus Hepacivirus The Flaviviridae are a family of viruses that infect mammals. ... Genera Alpharetrovirus Betaretrovirus Gammaretrovirus Deltaretrovirus Epsilonretrovirus Lentivirus Spumavirus A retrovirus is a virus which has a genome consisting of two identical plus sense RNA molecules. ... Genera Influenzavirus A Influenzavirus B Influenzavirus C Isavirus Thogotovirus The Orthomyxoviridae are a family of RNA viruses which infect vertebrates. ... Genera See text Paramyxoviruses are viruses of the Paramyxoviridae family of the Mononegavirales order; they are negative-sense single-stranded RNA viruses responsible for a number of human and animal diseases. ... A papovavirus is a member of the Papovaviridae family of viruses. ... Genera Vesiculovirus Lyssavirus Ephemerovirus Cytorhabdovirus Nucleorhabdovirus Novirhabdovirus Rhabdoviruses are viruses belonging to the family Rhabdoviridae, which is in the order Mononegavirales. ... Genera Alphavirus Rubivirus The Togaviridae are a family of viruses, including the following genera: Genus Alphavirus; type species: Sindbis virus, Eastern equine encephalitis virus, Western equine encephalitis virus, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, Ross River virus, Onyongnyong virus Genus Rubivirus; type species: Rubella virus The Togaviridae family belong to...

Transmission of pathogens

One of the primary pathways by which food or water become contaminated is from the release of untreated sewage into a drinking water supply or onto cropland, with the result that people who eat or drink contaminated sources become infected. In developing countries most sewage is discharged into the environment or on cropland as of 12 August 1985; even in developed countries there are periodic system failures resulting in a sanitary sewer overflow. In medicine, transmission is the passing of a disease from an infected individual or group to a previously uninfected individual or group. ... Tap water Mineral Water Drinking water is water that is intended to be ingested through drinking by humans. ... A developing country is a country with low average income compared to the world average. ... A developed country is a country that has achieved (currently or historically) a high degree of industrialization, and which enjoys the higher standards of living which wealth and technology make possible. ... Decentralized wet weather overflow event Sanitary sewer overflow (SSO} is a condition whereby untreated sewage is discharged into the environment, escaping wastewater treatment. ...

Distribution of cholera Cholera, sometimes known as Asiatic cholera or epidemic cholera, is an infectious gastroenteritis caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. ... Species Hepatitis A virus Hepatitis A (formerly known as infectious hepatitis) is an acute infectious disease of the liver caused by the hepatovirus hepatitis A virus. ... Poliomyelitis (polio), or infantile paralysis, is a viral paralytic disease. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


  1. ^ http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=6383 Definition of pathogen

  Results from FactBites:
Pathogen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (366 words)
A pathogen or infectious agent is a biological agent that causes disease or illness to its host.
There are several substrates and pathways whereby pathogens can invade a host; the principal pathways are: air contact/respiration; water contact/ingestion or dermal contact; soil contact/dermal or ingestion; and animal(vectors) contact/bite or ingestion.
Some pathogens (such as the bacterium Yersinia pestis, which may have caused the Black Plague, and the Variola virus) have been found to be responsible for massive amounts of casualties and have had numerous effects on afflicted groups.
  More results at FactBites »



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