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Articles on Pathogen

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Dead men do tell tales through their physical remains. AP Photo/Francesco Bellini

What the archaeological record reveals about epidemics throughout history – and the human response to them

People have lived with infectious disease throughout the millennia, with culture and biology influencing each other. Archaeologists decode the stories told by bones and what accompanies them.
Places where lots of animals come into contact can help pathogens move from species to species. Baloncici/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Re-creating live-animal markets in the lab lets researchers see how pathogens like coronavirus jump species

In the real world, new diseases emerge from complex environments. To learn more about how, scientists set up whole artificial ecosystems in the lab, instead of focusing on just one factor at a time.
What happened to make plague able to cause devastating epidemics, as in this depiction from 1349? Pierart dou Tielt/Wikimedia

Plague was around for millennia before epidemics took hold – and the way people lived might be what protected them

People caught and died from plague long before it caused major epidemics like the Black Death in the middle ages. Could what scientists call cultural resistance be what kept the disease under control?
Once a respiratory virus like influenza has entered your home or workplace, it is wise to treat the space like a hospital and practice infection prevention and control. (Shutterstock)

How to eradicate the flu virus from your home

From face-touching to virus-contaminated electronic devices, a scientist offers some tips on eradicating the flu virus from your home.
A virus like SARS can shut down cytokine production, enabling it to multiply to higher levels and causing significant infection and even death. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kevin Frayer)

Explainer: How the human body first fights off pathogens

We've all endured infections. Here's how it works when our bodies are attacked by viruses, bacteria or parasites, and our innate immune system becomes the first line of defence.

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