What is a Pathogen? Its Types, Diseases, Spread, and Safety Measures

Posted on May 18th, 2021
What is a Pathogen


What is a pathogen?

A pathogen is an infectious organism.

Your body is naturally full of germs. However, these germs can only cause a problem if your immune system is weakened or able to enter a normally sterile part of your body.

Isolation of pathogens can cause disease when they enter the body.

All pathogens are needed to survive and survive. Once the pathogen has established itself in a host’s body, it evades the body’s immune response and uses the body’s resources to replicate before exiting and spreading to the new host.

Depending on the type of pathogen, some methods may be used. They can be spread by contact with skin, body fluids, airborne particles, and feces, and by contact with an infected person’s contact surface.

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How many types of Pathogen?

types of Pathogen
types of Pathogen

The most common types of pathogens: viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites.


Viruses are made up of genetic codes such as DNA or RNA, but also a coating of proteins. Once you become infected, viruses attack the host cells in your body. They use components of the host cell to make more viruses.

It usually destroys or destroys infected cells.

Some viruses may be inactive for some time before multiplying again. When this happens, a person recovers from a viral infection but becomes infected again.

Antibiotics do not kill the virus and are therefore not effective as a treatment for viral infections. Antiviral drugs can sometimes be used on a viral basis.


Bacteria are microorganisms made up of single cells. They are very diverse, have a wide variety of shapes and features, and have the ability to settle in your body, including in any environment. Not all bacteria cause infections. They can be called pathogenic bacteria.

When your immune system is infected with a virus, you are more likely to have a bacterial infection. Infections caused by viruses are usually caused by bacteria that cause harm.

Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections. Some strains of bacteria can be resistant to antibiotics, which can be difficult to treat. According to a World Health Organization (WHO) trusted source, this can happen naturally due to overuse of antibiotics.


There are millions of different fungal organisms on Earth. 300 trusted sources are known to cause either disease. The fungus can be found everywhere, inside and outside the home and on human skin. When there is hypertrophy they cause infection.

A nucleus and other components for fungal cells are protected by a membrane and a thick cell wall. Their structure makes it difficult to kill them.

Some new fungal infections, such as Candida aureus, have been shown to be particularly dangerous, prompting further research into fungal infections.


Parasites are creatures that behave like small animals and live in a host or feed on or from the host. Although parasites are more common in the tropics and subtropics, they can occur anywhere.

The main types of parasites are:-

i. Protozoa are single-celled organisms that can live and multiply in your body

ii. Helminths, which are large, multi-celled organisms that can live inside or outside your body, commonly known as worms.

iii. Ectoparasites, which are multi-cell organisms that live or feed on the skin, including some insects, including ticks and mosquitoes.

They can be spread through – contaminated soil, water, food and blood, as well as through sexual contact and insect bites.


What are the diseases caused by pathogens?

diseases caused by pathogens
diseases caused by pathogens

Pathogens cause many diseases, how serious they are, and how they are transmitted. Let us look at some diseases caused by different types of pathogens.


Viruses can cause many infections, many of which are contagious. Examples of viral diseases include:

    • i. Cold
    • ii. Fever
    • iii. Meningitis
    • iv. Warts, including genital warts
    • v. Oral and genital herpes
    • vi. Chickenpox / Ringworm
    • vii. Measles
    • viii. Viral enteritis including norovirus and rotavirus
    • ix. Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E.
    • x. Jaundice
    • xi. Dengue fever
    • xii. HIV and AIDS


Here are some examples of bacterial infections:

      • i. Infection of the throat
      • ii. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
      • iii. Bacterial meningitis
      • iv. Lyme disease
      • v. Tuberculosis
      • vi. Gonorrhea
        vii. Cell

Here are some examples of common fungal infections:

    • i. Vaginal yeast infection
    • ii. Thrush
    • iii. Ringworm
    • iv. Athlete’s foot
    • v. Joke itching
    • vi. Fungal nail infections (onychomycosis)


Some examples of parasites include:

    • i. Giardiasis
    • ii. Trichomoniasis
    • iii. Malaria
    • iv. Toxoplasmosis
    • v. Intestinal worms
    • vi. Pubic lice


How are pathogens spread?

How are pathogens spread

Pathogens can spread in many ways. For example, direct contact with the skin during sexual intercourse may lead to STIs.

Cough or sneeze can cause germs to spread through small droplets in the air. These drops may contain microorganisms that other people breathe.

Microbes can also travel directly to the intestines when a person eats contaminated food or water.

The disease is spread by bites from infected insects. For example, bacterial-infected ticks can cause Lyme disease, and mosquitoes infected with the virus can cause syphilis.


What are the safety measures of pathogens?

Safety measures of pathogens

In addition to maintaining good health, an individual can take certain steps to reduce the risk of infection from pathogens. These include:

Regular hand washing and drying:

It is important to wash your hands regularly to prevent infection. People should wash with soap, water, or alcohol-based sanitizer for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after door-to-door activities, touching animals, going to the toilet, caring for patients, and sneezing or coughing.

Keep recommended vaccines up to date:

Influenza, whooping cough, and measles vaccines are available for infectious diseases in infants, children, and adults. Vaccines stimulate the immune system to identify pathogens, destroy them, and prevent future infections.

Keep surfaces clean:

Contaminated surfaces or objects can transmit disease.

Cleaning the kitchen and bathroom:

It is important to keep food counters and kitchen surfaces clean, especially before preparing food. The bathroom may contain a high concentration of infectious agents.

Stay home when sick:

People with the disease should not go to school, work or have close contact with others.

Avoid insect bites:

In areas where pests such as shirts, pants, and hats are more likely to be exposed for a long time, people can do this by wearing insect repellent and sensible clothing.

Safe sex training:

Using safe sex practices, including using a condom and receiving a regular sexual health screening, can reduce the risk of STIs.

Seek medical advice:

If an infection or treatment is not working, a person can talk to a medical professional.


Must read other topics of class 9 science –

Communicable Diseases

Non Communicable Diseases

Nutritional deficiency diseases


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