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intermediate host


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The animal, insect, or occasionally human in which an infectious pathogen passes a developmental stage preceding the adult stage. Insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, and blackflies; freshwater snails; animals; and fish are usually the intermediate hosts of pathogens that cause human disease. One exception is hydatid disease, in which sheep, and sometimes humans, are the intermediate host of a helminth that passes its adult stage in canines.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.


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