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Related to biological vector: mechanical vector
1. a carrier, especially the animal (usually an arthropod) that transfers an infective agent from one host to another. Examples are the mosquito that carries the malaria parasite Plasmodium between humans, and the tsetse fly that carries trypanosomes from other animals to humans. Dogs, bats, and other animals are vectors that transmit the rabies virus to humans.
2. a plasmid or viral chromosome into whose genome a fragment of foreign DNA is inserted, used to introduce the foreign DNA into a host cell in the cloning of DNA.
3. a quantity possessing magnitude, direction, and sense (positivity or negativity), and commonly represented by a straight line resembling an arrow; the length of the line denotes magnitude, the arrowhead denotes sense, and the position of the line with respect to an axis of reference denotes direction. adj., adj vector´ial.
biological vector an animal vector in whose body the pathogenic organism develops and multiplies before being transmitted to the next host.
mechanical vector an animal vector not essential to the life cycle of the parasite.
An animal vector in which the disease-causing organism multiplies or develops prior to becoming infective for a susceptible person.
See also: vector