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Main content
Current time:0:00Total duration:4:37
AP.ENVSCI:
EIN‑3 (EU)
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EIN‑3.D (LO)
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EIN‑3.D.1 (EK)
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EIN‑3.D.11 (EK)
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EIN‑3.D.12 (EK)
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EIN‑3.D.3 (EK)
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EIN‑3.D.7 (EK)
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EIN‑3.D.8 (EK)

Video transcript

in this video we're going to be talking about pathogens and how an environment might help or hurt the spread of a pathogen so first of all let's make sure we know what a pathogen is patho comes from greek pathos which is referring to disease gen you might recognize that part of word from words like generate or genetics it means to produce so a pathogen is something that produces disease now a good example of a pathogen that we're still facing on our planet is malaria and malaria is a very very unpleasant disease it involves the attack on red blood cells it causes fever chills sweats severe abdominal pain vomiting headaches it can make you more susceptible to other diseases and if it's not treated it can kill someone now the pathogen that creates or that produces malaria that causes the disease malaria is known as plasmodium falciparum and this right over here is a picture of it attacking red blood cells we see healthy red blood cells right over here and then the ones that are in this deep color this is being attacked by the malaria pathogen and as it does that it destroys those red blood cells and it leads to all the symptoms that i talked about so let's think a little bit about the environment in which malaria is likely to be spread well there's a few things that we know we know that the malaria pathogen can only operate can only go through its full life cycle in relatively warm conditions it needs to be greater than 20 degrees celsius which is the same thing as 68 degrees fahrenheit we also know that it is spread through mosquitoes in particular this mosquito right over here the anopheles mosquito and mosquitoes are unpleasant even when they aren't zoomed in like this but this is actually quite frightening and we all know what mosquitoes like to do at least to human beings they drink our blood and so you need an environment where both mosquitoes can thrive and there's a lot of human hosts whose blood they can drink and where they can spread the malaria pathogen from one host to another so i ideally you'd like a high population density and for the mosquito spread you definitely want a hot and humid environment so you might guess that if you're looking for things that don't dip below this because if you dip below this the malaria pathogen is not going to be able to go through its life cycle you're likely looking at regions in the equator and this map right over here confirms our intuition what you see in these orange regions are where you see the highest prevalence of malaria the yellow regions are where you might see malaria but not as high of a prevalence and then the blue areas are where you don't see malaria and as we guessed if you look generally at where the equator is that is where you're likely to see malaria because it is warmer there you don't see temperatures dip and then you also see hot humid environments in sub-saharan africa the sahara desert is roughly right over there and that is very dry not good for mosquitoes but if you look at sub-sahara right below this you have a high prevalence of malaria now one not so comforting realization is as the earth warms you're going to have more regions that are not just tropical regions not just equatorial regions that are going to be suitable for the spread of malaria so easily you could have what are traditionally subtropical environments or even temperate environments that if it gets warm and hot and humid enough you might see the spread of malaria over time and malaria and the malaria pathogen aren't the only things that might spread you have things like the zika virus which is a virus not a protist in the case of malaria but a virus that's also spread by mosquitoes so it also thrives wherever mosquitoes might be able to thrive and the warming more humid environment isn't just going to support the spread of mosquitoes it could support the spread of other pathogens like bacteria which could cause diseases like cholera which is caused by infected water so i'll leave you there i like to be a little bit more upbeat about things but it's just good to realize that this is out there and as our environment changes it's not just the environment effect that it affects but it could also affect the spread of disease