Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
Related to primary host: Giardia lamblia
1. an animal or plant that harbors and provides sustenance for another organism (the parasite).
2. the recipient of an organ or other tissue derived from another organism (the donor).
accidental host one that accidentally harbors an organism that is not ordinarily parasitic in the particular species.
definitive host (final host) a host in which a parasite attains sexual maturity.
intermediate host a host in which a parasite passes one or more of its asexual stages; usually designated first and second, if there is more than one.
paratenic host a potential or substitute intermediate host that serves until the appropriate definitive host is reached, and in which no development of the parasite occurs; it may or may not be necessary to the completion of the parasite's life cycle.
host of predilection the host preferred by a parasite.
primary host definitive host.
reservoir host an animal (or species) that is infected by a parasite, and which serves as a source of infection for humans or another species.
secondary host intermediate host.
transfer host one that is used until the appropriate definitive host is reached, but is not necessary to completion of the life cycle of the parasite.