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alternate host

noun, Ecology.
a host, other than the usual or primary host, on which a parasitic organism can sustain itself. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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alternate-host in Science
alternate host  
  1. One of two species of host on which some pathogens, such as certain rust fungi, must develop to complete their life cycles.

  2. A species of host other than the principal host on which a parasite can survive.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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