Species resistance refers to the fact that a given kind of organism, or species (such as the human species, Homo sapiens), develops diseases that are unique to it. A species may be resistant to diseases that affect other species because its tissues somehow fail to provide the temperature or chemical environment that a particular pathogen requires. For example, humans are subject to infections by the infectious agents that cause measles, mumps, gonorrhea, and syphilis, but other animal species are not. Similarly, humans are resistant to certain forms of malaria and tuberculosis that affect birds. However, new influenza strains that affect humans may come from birds, especially poultry.
In San Francisco in 1982, Simon Guzman became one of the very first recorded individuals to succumb to AIDS. He was the first person whose death was attributed to a parasitic infection previously seen only in sheep — cryptosporidiosis. This infection, which causes relentless diarrhea, illustrates a hallmark of AIDS: alteration of species resistance.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.