Human Pathogens

Human Pathogenic Groups

Pathogens that affect humans are typically categorized into four main groups based on their characteristics and the diseases they cause:


Bacterial pathogens are single-celled microorganisms that can cause a wide range of diseases in humans. Examples include:

Escherichia coli (E. coli) – 16S rRNA

Staphylococcus aureus (Staph infection) – nuc gene

Mycobacterium tuberculosis (tuberculosis) – rpoB gene

Streptococcus pyogenes (strep throat) – emm gene


Viral pathogens are much smaller than bacteria and consist of genetic material (DNA or RNA) enclosed in a protein coat. They cannot replicate on their own and require a host cell to reproduce. Common viral pathogens include:

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) – pol gene

Influenza virus – hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) genes

SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) – spike (S) gene

Hepatitis viruses (e.g., Hepatitis B – HBsAg gene) – Various viral genes


Fungal pathogens are eukaryotic microorganisms that can cause various fungal infections in humans. Examples of fungal pathogens include:

Candida species (yeast infections) – ITS region

Aspergillus species (aspergillosis) – calmodulin (CAL) gene

Dermatophytes (e.g., Trichophyton) – beta-tubulin (BT2) gene


Parasitic pathogens are organisms that live on or within a host organism and derive nutrients at the expense of the host, often causing diseases. Human parasites include:

Plasmodium species (e.g., Protozoa) – 18S rRNA

Helminths (worms, e.g., Ascaris) – internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region

Ectoparasites (e.g., ticks and lice) – cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COX1) gene


These categories encompass a wide range of pathogens that can cause diseases in humans, and bioinformatics plays a crucial role in understanding their genetic makeup, studying their evolutionary history, and developing strategies for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.

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