Pathogens and parasites are two types of organisms which are very dangerous to the well-being of their hosts. Both pathogens and parasites are similar in that they cause different kinds of diseases by virtue of their stay inside their hosts. However, there are still some noticeable differences between the two. Parasites are organisms that live on or in another organism, deriving benefit from living on or in that organism without contributing to the healthy living or functioning of the organism.
Parasites derive benefit at the expense of the host. Parasites are macro-organisms, which means they can be seen with the naked eye. Examples are ticks, mites, lice, protozoan, helminths, etc. Pathogens, on the other hand, are micro-organisms that are capable of causing diseases. They are often referred to as disease-causing agents, examples are, virus, bacteria fungi, etc. Unlike parasites, pathogens cannot be seen with the naked eye, except through the use of a powerful microscope.
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Answered Jul 16, 2019
Parasites and Pathogens are diseases causing agents that are dangerous to the host organism. They are specific to the host and tend to multiply at a very high rate. The following are the striking differences between pathogens and parasites: a. MEANING: Pathogens are disease-causing agents that cause sickness to their host while parasites are organisms that live in/on another organism called the "host organism" and benefit from the organism at the host's expense. b. LEVEL OF ORGANISATION: Pathogens are eukaryotic organisms. Eukaryotes are the organisms whose cells have a nucleus with their membranes.
In contrast, Parasites are prokaryotic organisms except for fungi. A prokaryote is a unicellular organism that does not have a membrane-bound nucleus and mitochondria. c. VISIBILITY: Parasites are microscopic organisms that are visible to the naked eye while pathogens can either be macroscopic or microscopic. d. PATHOLOGY: Parasites do not cause infectious diseases in the host organism, but pathogens are responsible for creating diseases in the host organism.