Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford


  • Jacqueline Hill TudorEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_1649-1



Pathogenic microbes, or pathogens, have an ability to produce harm in a host organism and exhibit a parasitic or predatory relationship with the host. Pathogens cause infectious diseases such as streptococcal pharyngitis, influenza, botulism, rabies, gastroenteritis, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.


Microorganisms, or microbes, are unicellular or multicellular organisms too small to be seen with the unaided eye (Cowan 2018). Microbes are ubiquitous in the internal and external environments of humans and animals; thus, humans and animals often act as host organisms for microbes. While many microbes in a host’s microbiome are harmless or beneficial to the host, the relationship between a microbe and a host can be a complicated one. Animal hosts can exhibit mutualistic, commensal, cooperative, parasitic, or predatory relationships with microbes. An animal host and microbe that exhibit reciprocal...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ohio UniversityLancasterUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Shannon M. Digweed
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMacEwan UniversityEdmontonCanada