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, refers to the long-term host of the pathogen of an infectious disease. It is often the case that hosts do not get the disease carried by the pathogen or it is asymptomatic and non-lethal. Once discovered, natural reservoirs elucidate the complete life cycle of infectious diseases, providing effective prevention and control. Examples of natural reservoirs are: Field mice, for hantaviruses and Lassa fever
Marmots, black rats, prairie dogs, chipmunks and squirrels for bubonic plague
Armadillos and opossums for Chagas disease
Ticks for babesiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever
Ground squirrels, porcupines, and chipmunks for Colorado tick fever
Mosquitoes for filariasis and malaria
Snails for schistosomiasis and swimmer's itch
Pigs for cestode worm infections
Raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats for rabies
Shellfish for cholera
Fowl (ducks and geese) for avian influenza
Some diseases have no non-human reservoir: poliomyelitis and smallpox are prominent examples.The concept of natural reservoir could also be extended to asymptomatic human bearers of the infecting agent, exemplified by the famous case of Typhoid Mary. The natural reservoir of some diseases remain unknown. This is the case of the Ebola disease, which is caused by a virus.
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