Glossary

  • Amplifying host: an organism in which an infectious agent (such as a virus or bacterium) that is pathogenic for some other species is able to replicate rapidly and to high concentrations

    • note: an amplifying host tends to increase the spread of infectious pathogens and may be intermediate to or also serve as the pathogen reservoir
    • AKA: amplifier or amplification host
  • Anthroponosis: an infection or disease that is transmissible from humans to animals under natural conditions

    • also: the process of transmitting infection or disease from humans to animals
    • AKA: Reverse zoonosis
  • Bacterium: any of a domain (Bacteria) of chiefly round, spiral, or rod-shaped single-celled prokaryotic microorganisms that typically live in soil, water, organic matter, or the bodies of plants and animals, that make their own food especially from sunlight or are saprophytic or parasitic, are often motile by means of flagella, reproduce especially by binary fission, and include many important pathogens

    • plural: bacteria
  • Dead-end host: a host from which infectious agents are not transmitted to other susceptible hosts

  • Definitive host: the host in which the sexual reproduction of a parasite takes place

    • AKA: primary host
  • Endemic: characteristic of or prevalent in a particular field, area, or environment

  • Epidemic: affecting or tending to affect a disproportionately large number of individuals within a population, community, or region at the same time

    • also: an outbreak of disease that spreads quickly and affects many individuals at the same time
  • Epidemiology: a branch of medical science that deals with the incidence, distribution, and control of disease in a population

    • also: the sum of the factors controlling the presence or absence of a disease or pathogen
  • Helminth: a parasitic worm (such as a tapeworm, liver fluke, ascarid, or leech)

  • Host: a living organism on or in which a parasite lives

    • also: the larger, stronger, or dominant member of a commensal or symbiotic pair
  • Infectious disease: a disease (such as influenza, malaria, meningitis, rabies, or tetanus) caused by the entrance into the body of pathogenic agents or microorganisms (such as bacteria, viruses, protozoans, or fungi) which grow and multiply there

  • Intermediate host: a host which is normally used by a parasite in the course of its life cycle and in which it may multiply asexually but not sexually

    • AKA: secondary host
  • Parasite: an organism living in, on, or with another organism in order to obtain nutrients, grow, or multiply often in a state that directly or indirectly harms the host

  • Pathogen: a specific causative agent (such as a bacterium or virus) of disease

  • Pathogenesis: the origination and development of a disease

  • Prion: an abnormal form of a prion protein that in mammals includes pathogenic forms which arise sporadically, as a result of genetic mutation, or by transmission (as by ingestion of infected tissue) and which upon accumulation in the brain cause a prion disease (such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease)

  • Reservoir host: a host organism in which an infectious agent (as a bacterium or virus) that is pathogenic for some other species lives and multiplies typically without damaging the host

    • note: a reservoir serves as a source from which transmission of infection and outbreaks of disease can occur
  • Spillover infection: occurs when a reservoir population with a high pathogen prevalence comes into contact with a new host population. The pathogen is transmitted from the reservoir population and may or may not be transmitted within the host population

  • Vector: an organism (such as an insect) that transmits a pathogen from one organism or source to another

  • Vector-borne disease: disease that results from an infection transmitted to humans and other animals by blood-feeding arthropods, such as mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas

    • examples: Dengue fever, West Nile Virus, Lyme disease, and malaria

  • Virus: any of a large group of submicroscopic infectious agents that are usually regarded as nonliving extremely complex molecules, that typically contain a protein coat surrounding an RNA or DNA core of genetic material but no semipermeable membrane, that are capable of growth and multiplication only in living cells, and that cause various important diseases in humans, animals, and plants

  • Zoonosis: an infection or disease that is transmissible between animals and humans

    • plural: zoonoses
    • AKA: zoonotic disease

Sources

Amplifying host. 2021. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved March 20, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/amplifying%20host

Anthroponosis. 2021. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved March 20, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anthroponosis

Bacterium. 2021. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved March 20, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bacterium

Dead-end host. 2021. In Dictionary.com. Retrieved March 20, 2021, from https://www.dictionary.com/browse/dead-end-host

Definitive host. 2021. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved March 20, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/definitive%20host

Endemic. 2021. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved March 20, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/endemic

Epidemic. 2021. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved March 20, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epidemic

Epidemiology. 2021. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved March 21, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epidemiology

Helminth. 2021. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved March 20, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/helminth

Host. 2021. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved March 20, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/host

Infectious disease. 2021. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved March 20, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/infectious%20disease

Intermediate host. 2021. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved March 20, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intermediate%20host

Parasite. 2021. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved March 20, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/parasite

Pathogen. 2021. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved March 20, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pathogen

Pathogenesis. 2021. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved March 23, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pathogenesis

Prion. 2021. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved March 20, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prion

Reservoir. 2021. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved March 20, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reservoir

Spillover infection. 2021. In CARTA.Anthropogeny.org. Retrieved March 21, 2021, from https://carta.anthropogeny.org/glossary/spillover-infection

Vector. 2021. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved March 20, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vector

Vector-borne & Zoonotic Diseases. (n.d.). County of Los Angeles. Retrieved March 20, 2021, from http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/Vector.htm

Virus. 2021. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved March 20, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/virus

Zoonosis. 2021. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved March 20, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zoonosis

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