I think you’re looking for the word “vector.” Vector has a lot of definitions but in the field of biology, it is a technical term for an organism that transmits a pathogen from one animal to another. For example a mosquito might feed on someone who has malaria, become a carrier for malaria, and then transmit the malaria to the next person it feeds on.
Probably vector. The rats that carried the fleas that supposedly carried the bubonic plage in the 14th century are referred to as vectors. However the rats that carried the fleas are generically called ‘carriers’ of the fleas. So even one step removed seems to make something not a vector.
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