Q:

What is a nonpathogen?

A:

Quick Answer

Nonpathogens are usually harmless microbes that inhabit a living organism, such as Staphylococcus aureus and candida. Some nonpathogen microbes are bacteria that can be beneficiary for the human organism, such as lactic acid bacteria. Most nonpathogenic bacteria, lactococci and lactic acid bacteria, come from foods, such as dairy products, meat and some vegetables. These are also known as gram-positive bacteria and probiotics.

Continue Reading
What is a nonpathogen?
Credit: Thinkstock Images Stockbyte Getty Images

Full Answer

Pathogens, on the other hand, are bacteria, germs, parasites and viruses that cause infections and diseases. However, since the late 19th century, there has been a debate on how harmless some nonpathogen microbes really are. According to BMC Biology, the same microbe may exist in pathogenic and nonpathogenic states. In an individual with a deficient immune system, a nonpathogenic microbe may become an opportunistic pathogen, activating the bad genes in microbes that may then cause serious disease.

As of 2014, scientists continue to research the causes that can make a nonpathogen become a pathogen microbe. Pathogenic microbes often develop to become antibiotic resistant. According to BMC, antibiotics and surgery make an individual more vulnerable and may trigger the development of a pathogenic microbe that causes infections or disease. Staphylococcus is a microbe that often becomes a pathogen that causes hospital-acquired infections.

Learn more about Biology

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are multicelled organisms?

    A:

    A multicelled, or multicellular, organism is any living being comprised of more than one cell. Typically, multicellular life differentiates cells into specialized tasks, which in larger organisms can form tissues and organs. This allows multicellular organisms to have cells that are more efficient at a specific function of life.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a "niche" in biology?

    A:

    The niche that an organism occupies is the opening in the environment that the organism fills to make a living. A species' niche is its place in an ecosystem relative to the other organisms present.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is candida?

    A:

    Candida is a parasitic fungus that is yeast-like and can cause thrush, vaginitis, athlete’s foot and other infections. It is the most common cause of fungal infections in humans worldwide.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some sources for pictures of a MRSA skin infection?

    A:

    The official website for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC.gov, offers pictures of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, skin infections. In addition, WebMD publishes a 17-slide slideshow of MRSA pictures.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore