microparasitesmedical dictionary

<epidemiology> Typically, viruses, bacteria, fungi and protozoa. More generally, parasites which multiply within their definitive hosts. Microparasites are characterised by small size, short generation times, and a tendency to induce immunity to reinfection in those hosts that survive. The duration of infection is usually short in relation to the lifespan of the host, but there are important exceptions, such as the slow viruses. The key epidemiological variable, by contrast with macroparasites, is whether or not the individual host is infected.

(05 Dec 1998)