Host (biology)

In biology and medicine, a host is a larger organism that harbours a smaller organism;[1] whether a parasitic, a mutualistic, or a commensalist guest (symbiont). The guest is typically provided with nourishment and shelter. Examples include animals playing host to parasitic worms (e.g. nematodes), cells harbouring pathogenic (disease-causing) viruses, a bean plant hosting mutualistic (helpful) nitrogen-fixing bacteria. More specifically in botany, a host plant supplies food resources to micropredators, which have an evolutionarily stable relationship with their hosts similar to ectoparasitism. The host range is the collection of hosts that an organism can use as a partner.

The black rat is a reservoir host for bubonic plague. The oriental rat fleas that infest the rats are vectors for the disease.

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