Biology as Poetry: Disease Principles

Bacteriophage Ecology Group

Transmission of Disease

Movement of especially microorganisms from one host organism to another.

The primary evolutionary goal of microorganisms that obligately live as symbionts in association with other organisms is their transmission from one host to another. Note, though, that the idea of transmission is not limited to pathogens since, for example, normal microbiota too must move between hosts to survive since individual hosts are not immortal.

You can picture transmission as being the equivalent simply of attaining a range within which to reside, i.e., just as a seed must find a reasonable patch of well-lit soil to successfully germinate, grow into an adult plant, and then reproduce, so too microorganism symbionts find the appropriate host environments to colonize, replicate, and then transmit.

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