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Parasites and Pathogens: Avoidance

  1. David W Thieltges,
  2. Robert Poulin

Published Online: 15 DEC 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0003661



How to Cite

Thieltges, D. W. and Poulin, R. 2008. Parasites and Pathogens: Avoidance. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University of Otago, Department of Zoology, Dunedin, New Zealand

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2008


Parasites and pathogens are usually harmful, and thus hosts have developed numerous pre-contact measures to avoid infection in the first place. These avoidance measures range from camouflage to a variety of behavioural measures such as movement and fly-repelling behaviour, habitat choice and migration, selective foraging, group forming and mate choice. In case avoidance fails, a second line of post-contact defences (e.g. immune system) comes into place which is treated elsewhere and thus only briefly discussed.


  • parasitism;
  • avoidance