Reference Terms
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Vector (biology)

Traditionally in medicine, a vector is an organism that does not cause disease itself but which spreads infection by conveying pathogens from one host to another.

Species of mosquito, for example, serve as vectors for the deadly disease Malaria.

This sense of "biological vector" is the primary one in epidemiology and in common speech.

In gene therapy, a virus itself may serve as a vector, if it has been re-engineered and is used to deliver a gene to its target cell.

A "vector" in this sense is a vehicle for delivering genetic material such as DNA to a cell.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Vector (biology)", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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August 5, 2015

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