Pp. 36-70 (35)
Pathogens live inside other organisms called hosts, exploiting them and
causing disease. Viruses and other mobile genetic elements such as transposons are
pathogens that parasite on all life forms. They are obligate pathogens since they
replicate only inside their hosts. Many bacterial pathogens are facultative since they
can live outside their host. Viruses recognize host cells by specific molecules that serve
as viral receptors. Only cells expressing them can be infected. Multicellular organisms
host pathogenic bacteria and eukaryotic pathogens such as fungi, protozoa, and
helminths in addition to viruses. Infection depends on pathogen’s ability to survive
inside the host. Some pathogens quickly kill their host with large numbers of new
pathogens released, whereas others establish long-lasting infection. Lytic viruses
replicate and then lyse their host to get released. Other viruses do not lyse their host;
instead, they establish chronic infection by replicating slowly and exiting the host cells
by extrusion. Temperate viruses integrate into host DNA and stay silent for many cell
divisions until the cell experiences stress. Then, the lytic program is activated, and the
virus replicates and kills the cell. Similar to viruses, some intracellular bacterial
pathogens are obligate and can only replicate inside their host. Pathogens differ in their
host range; some can infect only a single species, while others are generalists. Hosts
constantly evolve mechanisms preventing infection and destroying pathogens. In turn,
pathogens evolve to overcome host defenses.
Bacteria, Fungi, Helminths, Infection, Iytic virus, Mobile genetic
elements, Pathogen, Protozoan pathogens, Symbiosis, Transposon, Temperate
virus, Virulence, Virus.
Department of Molecular Cell & Developmental Biology, University of California, Los Angeles CA, USA.