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Q&A: What are pathogens, and what have they done to and for us?

Balloux, F; van Dorp, L; (2017) Q&A: What are pathogens, and what have they done to and for us? BMC Biology , 15 , Article 91. 10.1186/s12915-017-0433-z. Green open access

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Abstract

Microbes are found on us, within us and around us. They inhabit virtually every environment on the planet and the bacteria carried by an average human, mostly in their gut, outnumber human cells. The vast majority of microbes are harmless to us, and many play essential roles in plant, animal and human health. Others, however, are either obligate or facultative pathogens exerting a spectrum of deleterious effects on their hosts. Infectious diseases have historically represented the most common cause of death in humans until recently, exceeding by far the toll taken by wars or famines. From the dawn of humanity and throughout history, infectious diseases have shaped human evolution, demography, migrations and history.

Type: Article
Title: Q&A: What are pathogens, and what have they done to and for us?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12915-017-0433-z
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1186/s12915-017-0433-z
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © Balloux et al. 2017 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10030772
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