Pathogens are microorganisms, viruses, toxins and ionizing radiation that can cause disease. They are pathogenic organisms and substances, respectively.
One distinguishes between obligate pathogenic and potentially pathogenic organisms. Obligate pathogenic organisms always cause disease. For potentially pathogenic organisms, on the other hand, this is only the case in immunocompromised hosts. They usually belong to the host’s normal flora.
A pathogen repository collects and stores clinically relevant pathogens and associated data for use in research, product development and for validation, training and quality assurance in laboratories. The DZIF pathogen repository is located at the Leibniz Institute DSMZ-German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures in Braunschweig (DSMZ). In recent years, the DZIF pathogen collections have grown to include over 2,600 microbial pathogen strains and active substance producers.