Pathogens and Metabolic Requirement

Pathogensand Metabolic Requirement


Pathogensand metabolic requirement

Apathogen is an infectious agent, which once it contaminates the hostbody, causes infections or diseases (Bhattacharya,Nagpure, &amp Gupta, 2007 Boundless, n.d.).Pathogens can infect both multi-cellular and unicellular organismsfrom all biological kingdoms. For a long time, scientists haveconducted intensive studies to come up with strategies forcontrolling pathogens, their growth, and transmission. According toPandey &amp Sassetti (2008), some of the pathogen control techniquesin place include prevention, chemical and physical treatments,bio-control among others. Metabolism defines the chemicaltransformations with the cells of living organism, which ensure theyare self-sustaining. In this regards, the discourse discusses howpeople can use the knowledge of metabolism to control pathogens.

Sincemany pathogens rely on the energy produced through metabolism, theknowledge on metabolism can be of great use in controlling pathogens.According to Bhattacharyaet al. (2007),several infectious diseases such as malaria, Immune DeficiencySyndrome (AIDS) cause wasting, an obvious sign of pathogeninterference with the host metabolism. For most diseases to appear inan animal or human body, they must have been induced by pathogens,which interfere with how the immune system responds to externalattacks.

Accordingto Kumaret al. (2010),many pathogens aggressively redirect host cell metabolism rather thansubmissively depend on basal host cell metabolic activities.According to these researchers, viruses, and other intercellularpathogens depend on host cell metabolism to provide energy for theirsurvival and multiplication. Several pathogens meet their metabolicneeds by regulating host cell glycolysis in order to get enoughenergy for their activities. Since the host body cannot survivewithout metabolic reactions, it means that other means have to employin order control the growth and transmission of pathogens. One of thestrategies is by making the environment so hostile for the survivalof the pathogens. According to Kumaret al. (2010),many pathogens can only survive under favorable conditions. Thismeans that, without these conditions, pathogens can easily becontrolled. Some of these conditions include temperature, level ofacidity or alkalinity (Boundless, n.d.). By altering any of theseconditions to levels unfavorable to pathogens, their metabolicprocess are greatly hindered hence making their survival and growthvery difficult.

Anotherway in which knowledge of metabolic requirements can be used incontrolling pathogens is by creating conditions within the host body,which support and enhance the growth of competing pathogens(Bhattacharyaet al., 2007).This is done through the consumption of nutrients required by thecompeting pathogens in order to ensure that their population is highcompared to the harmful pathogens. When the numbers of the competingpathogens become more than the harmful pathogens, they consume thelimited resources hence causing their starvation hence hinderingtheir survival and growth.

Pathogenshave a unique development cycle of many stages (Boundless, n.d.).This means that after entering the host body, pathogens undergovarious changes as they develop. All these developmental changesrequire energy derived from the metabolism. Therefore, the knowledgeof metabolic requirements of pathogens during each developmentalstage can help a lot in controlling its growth thus, one achievethis by making the environment very hostile to its metabolicprocesses or introducing competing pathogens, which will cause itsstarvation.


Bhattacharya,D., Nagpure, A., &amp Gupta, R. K. (2007). Bacterial chitinases:properties and potential.&nbspCriticalreviews in biotechnology,&nbsp27(1),21-28.

Boundless.(n.d.). Boundless – Textbooks. Retrieved March 5, 2015, from

Kumar,D., Nath, L., Kamal, M. A., Varshney, A., Jain, A., Singh, S., &ampRao, K. V. (2010). Genome-wide analysis of the host intracellularnetwork that regulates survival of Mycobacteriumtuberculosis.&nbspCell,&nbsp140(5),731-743.

Pandey,A. K., &amp Sassetti, C. M. (2008). Mycobacterial persistencerequires the utilization of host cholesterol.&nbspProceedingsof the National Academy of Sciences,&nbsp105(11),4376-4380.