Antigen vs Pathogen
In our daily life, we are exposed to different substances. Even though most of the people, most of the time, are healthy and have the ability to do their daily activities, sometimes, some of them fall sick or get illness, which is caused by pathogens.
Pathogens are any foreign organisms that cause diseases in host plants and animals; e.g. virus and bacteria. Antigen is a molecule located in the cell wall of bacteria or the coating of organisms. Antigen causes our immune system to produce the antibody against it and protect our body from harmful foreign organisms.
What is Antigen?
Originally the term Antigen came from Antibody generator. It may be any substance, which comes from the environment or forms within the body. Generally, antigens are protein and polysaccharide (capsule, coats, cell wall, and flagella) located in the cell walls of bacteria or in the coating of other organisms. It causes our immune system to produce the antibody against it. Antibody is used by the immune system to identify and neutralize the foreign particles like bacteria and viruses. Basically, antigens are categorized as self-antigen and non-self-antigen. Self-antigens are tolerated by the immune system while the non-self-antigens are identified as invaders and can be attacked by the immune system. Non self-antigens include egg white, pollen from the organs, and transplanted tissues.
At the molecular level, an antibody has the antigen binding site, in which, the antigen has the ability to bind. These triggers the response of different antibodies based on its match like a lock and key. An Immunogenic is an example for a specific type of antigen which is able to induce the immune response. The two types of antigens are exogenous and endogenous. Exogenous antigens enter the body from outside. E.g. by ingestion or inhalation. These are taken into the antigen present cells by endocytosis and then exocytosis process it into fragments. Endogenous forms within the normal cells by cell metabolism or viral intracellular bacterial infection.
What is Pathogen?
Pathogens are easily called as infectious agents. We contact pathogens in our daily life. These are microorganisms that cause diseases in host plants and animals; e.g. virus, bacteria, and fungi. Not all microbes are harmful; pathogens refer specifically to the ones that can cause disease in the host. The human body also contains helpful bacteria, which is called good bacteria. It may be destroyed by chemotherapy or HIV.
Pathogen transmission occurs in many ways such as fecal-oral route, body fluid, through blood, breast milk, direct or indirect contact.
Nowadays, there are many medical advances available against infection by pathogens like use of vaccination, antibiotics, and fungicide. Mostly Pathogens are negative but not all. Pathogens serve as natural or biological control, to suppress the arthropod pest populations.
The types of pathogens are viral, bacterial, fungal, other parasites, and prionic; e.g. Mycobacterium tuberculosi (a causative agent for most tuberculosis) and Fungs (affect athlete’s feet).
What is the difference between Antigen and Pathogen?
• Pathogen is an organism but antigen is not an organism, it is a molecule located in the cell wall of bacteria or the coating of other microorganism.
• Pathogen is a harmful organism that causes disease in its host.
• Antigen triggers the response of difference kind of antibodies based on its match like a lock and key hypothesis.
• Pathogen refers to any foreign organism, which is not part of the body, and presents inside the body, mainly in the blood stream, but antigen is a part of the body.
• Pathogens serve as biological controller but antigen doesn’t.