intermediate host

noun

Definition of intermediate host

1 : a host which is normally used by a parasite in the course of its life cycle and in which it may multiply asexually but not sexually — compare definitive host

Examples of intermediate host in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Animals — including raccoon dogs, foxes, and mink — are common sights at these markets, and all are potential intermediate hosts for the virus that causes COVID-19. Pj Smith, refinery29.com, "Ending The Fur Trade Could Help Prevent Future Pandemics," 7 May 2020 Although its exact origin remains unknown, many experts believe the virus is likely to have originated in bats and jumped to humans from an intermediate host -- perhaps a pangolin. Nectar Gan, CNN, "The Wuhan lab at the center of the US-China blame game: What we know and what we don't," 6 May 2020 The viral genomes found in early patients are so similar as to suggest strongly that the virus jumped from its intermediate host to people only once. The Economist, "The origin of covid-19 The pieces of the puzzle of covid-19’s origin are coming to light," 2 May 2020 Researchers theorize that the strain evolved and jumped to an intermediate host animal, and then evolved again to infect humans. National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 24 Apr. 2020 There has been plenty of speculation that the intermediate host could be pangolins, but that is not confirmed. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Don’t Panic: The comprehensive Ars Technica guide to the coronavirus [Updated 4/5]," 5 Apr. 2020 Animal studies can also help narrow down what that intermediate host might have been, which could give us an edge in preventing future coronavirus outbreaks. Tim Mcdonnell, Quartz, "How monkeys, ferrets, and horses are helping scientists fight Covid-19," 13 Apr. 2020 There has been plenty of speculation that the intermediate host could be pangolins, but that is not confirmed. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Don’t Panic: The comprehensive Ars Technica guide to the coronavirus [Updated 4/5]," 5 Apr. 2020 For many years, it was widely believed that the SARS virus jumped from a bat to an intermediate host -- a cat-like civet -- that infected a person at a food market in China. Robert Kuznia, CNN, "How did coronavirus break out? Theories abound as researchers race to solve genetic detective story," 6 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'intermediate host.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of intermediate host

1878, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for intermediate host

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The first known use of intermediate host was in 1878

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Last Updated

22 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Intermediate host.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intermediate%20host. Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for intermediate host

intermediate host

noun

Medical Definition of intermediate host

1 : a host which is normally used by a parasite in the course of its life cycle and in which it may multiply asexually but not sexually — compare definitive host

More from Merriam-Webster on intermediate host

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about intermediate host

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