|MicrobiologyBytes: Introduction to Microbiology: Pathogenesis||Updated: January 19, 2005||Search|
A pathogen is: 'a disease causing organism'.
Opportunistic pathogens: e.g. Escherichia coli is a normal, 'non-pathogenic' commensal organism in the human gut, but infection of the bladder can result in ascending infection of the ureters & eventually, the kidneys, resulting in renal failure. Most strains of E.coli are inefficient in establishing such infections, but some strains express particular adherence factors which allow them to ascend the ureter & reach the kidney.
Obligate pathogens display the most extreme adaptation to their host organisms.
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