Compare the adaptations of different pathogens

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Compare the adaptations of different pathogens that facilitate their entry into and transmission between hosts

Adaptations of different pathogens that facilitates their entry into and transmission between hosts

  • Host adaptation is a term widely used to indicate the ability of a pathogen to attack a host and invade within a given population causing disease.
  • Other usage of the term includes its use to describe the changes a pathogen undergoes to increase its chances of creating a particular type of disease in a host and then spread in other hosts.
  • The ability to survive in different host species is an adaptation that is highly advantageous to pathogens because it increases their chances for survival and circulation.
  • Some practical examples of host adaptations are given as follows:
    • A major host adaptation on the part of Salmonella is its adaptation to host blood temperatures. Because Salmonella can thrive at the human host temperature, 98.6 degrees F, it is fit for the host environment and hence survive well in it. Simple adaptations like these are very effective ways of infecting hosts because they use the host's body and important feature of its body as a stepping stone in the infection process.
    • Another intestinal pathogen in the genus Cryptosporidium, which was not always a human pathogen, "recently" adapted to the human host environment.

Extract from HSC Biology Stage 6 Syllabus. © 2017 Board of Studies NSW.