A pathovar (from Greek pathos, " suffering", "disease"; Latin varius " different, diverse ") is a bacterial strain or set of strains with the same characteristics, which can be distinguished from each other within the species due to differences in pathogenicity.

Pathovars are listed as third or fourth addition to the binomial species names. The bacterium Xanthomonas axonopodis for example, causes the lemon cancer, has several pathovars with different host specializations: X. axonopodis pv citri is one of them, the abbreviation ' pv ' means ' pathovar '.

The virulent strains of human pathogens have pathovars, such as Escherichia coli (EHEC, EPEC).

  • Microbiology