A common honey bee disease is spread through flowers

James Cook University scientists have discovered a common honey bee disease can be deadly to native Australian wild bees and can be transmitted by flowers—the first time this link has been made.

Researchers report bio-inspired selective antibiotics

With multi-resistant germs becoming more and more of a threat, we are in need of new antibiotics now more than ever. Unfortunately, antibiotics cannot distinguish between pathogens and beneficial microbes. They can destroy ...

Worm pheromones protect major crops

Protecting crops from pests and pathogens without using toxic pesticides has been a longtime goal of farmers. Researchers at Boyce Thompson Institute have found that compounds from an unlikely source—microscopic soil roundworms—could ...

Picky pathogens help non-native tree species invade

Walk into a forest comprising only native trees, and you probably notice many different tree species around you, with no one species dominating the ecosystem. Such biodiversity—the variety of life and species in the forest—ensures ...

Flies may also spread disease among monkeys and apes

People the world over have a good sense that flies are filthy and that we do not want them landing on our food during our summer picnics. Research has justified that disgust, showing that flies associated with humans and ...

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Pathogen

A pathogen (from Greek πάθος path "suffering, passion", and γἰγνομαι (γεν-) gignomai (gen-) "I give birth to"), infectious agent, or (more commonly) germ, 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 have different episodic time frames, but soil contamination has the longest or most persistent potential for harboring a pathogen.

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 infection.

Some pathogens (such as the bacterium Yersinia pestis, which may have caused the Black Plague, the Variola virus, and the Maleria 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 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.

Not all pathogens are negative. In entomology, pathogens are one of the "Three P's" (predators, pathogens, and parasitoids) that serve as natural or introduced biological controls to suppress arthropod pest populations.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA