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(microbiology), the successive transfer of cultures of microorganisms across various nutrient mediums or the reinoculation of one animal with pathogenic microbes from another, infected animal. A microorganism may undergo certain changes with repeated passage: it may lose its ability to form spores and its pigmentary activity may be altered, its fermentative activity may be decreased, and its virulence may be reduced. In order to prevent the possibly consequent alterations in the behavior of the microorganism, it is preferable to store collections of cultures in a lyophilized state or at the temperature of liquid nitrogen. (SeeLYOPHILIZATION.) In medical microbiology, microorganisms are sometimes passaged among several animals in order to increase the virulence of a culture.
in music, the term used since the 16th century for a rapid sequence of sounds, difficult to execute and characteristic of virtuoso music. There are several types: scale passages, arpeggio passages, and mixed passages.