Understanding pathogens in the era of next generation sequencing

Authors

  • Pierre-Olivier Méthot Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.3855/jidc.3012

Keywords:

pathogen, infectious disease, virulence gene

Abstract

What is a pathogen? Medical textbooks usually define a pathogen as any microorganism that causes disease. However, this widespread definition is problematic on a number of counts [1, 11]. Moreover, a generally accepted definition is not forthcoming among medical microbiologists, immunologists, and physicians. Here it is argued that there is another, and more pressing question to be asked, namely: what makes some organisms pathogenic and others not? Asking these questions instead allows for distinguishing pathogens from non-pathogens in a more flexible way, while at the same time emphasizing the roles of ecological and evolutionary processes in determining pathogenicity in infectious diseases.

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Published

2012-09-17

How to Cite

1.
Méthot P-O (2012) Understanding pathogens in the era of next generation sequencing. J Infect Dev Ctries 6:689–691. doi: 10.3855/jidc.3012

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