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The Significance Of Microbiology In Daily Life

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Introduction

Microbiology is the study of all living organisms that are too small to be visible with the human’s naked eye ( including Bacteria, Fungi, Protozoans, Parasites, and Viruses), usually called ‘microbes’. (Schmacke et al., 2020)

Some companies even use microbiology studies to develop new products that might kill the viruses and bacteria by helping to diagnose diseases such as meningitis and tuberculosis and to prevent the spread of diseases. Therefore, for such an important purpose, microbiology plays a significant role in medical devices, which is used for fast and precise detection of pathogens in tissue samples. (Society, 2020)

Bacteria

Bacteria are microscopic, single-celled organisms that live and survive in diverse environments. These organisms can exist in soil, within the ocean, and even inside the human gut. (Contributor, 2020)

For structure and characteristics, bacteria are classified as prokaryotes, which are single-celled organisms that lack a nucleus, contains DNA that will float freely during a twisted ( nucleoid), and the circular pieces called plasmids. Ribosomes are also the spherical units in the bacterial cell. Since bacteria are so small, we can only see them through the microscope. From that, they will be identified and classified by their shapes. (Foundation, 2020)

One of the diseases caused by bacteria is Salmonella. It is a disease caused by several anaerobic bacteria belonging to the genus Salmonella and is mostly transmitted by ingesting food contaminated with the bacterium. It causes one type of food poisoning and may occur in both humans and other animals once they eat raw meat. Some symptoms of Salmonella including nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain,… The toxins released by the bacteria can be fatal. (Salmonella infection – Symptoms and causes, 2020)

History of Salmonella:

  • In 1855, Salmonella was first discovered from the intestines of pigs infected with classical swine fever by Theobald Smith.
  • In 1879, Karl Joseph Eberth discovered the bacillus in the abdominal lymph nodes and the spleen.
  • Between 1880-1881, Eberth’s discovery was subsequently confirmed by German and English bacteriologists, including Robert Koch.
  • In 1885, the first strain of Salmonella was discovered by a veterinary pathologist Daniel E. Salmon.
  • In 1896, the Salmonella vaccine is introduced and used by the British military resulting in a dramatic reduction in cases of typhoid fever and associated deaths. (Dr. Tomislav Meštrović, 2020)

There are some current treatments for this disease such as patients should drink fluids to prevent dehydration, use antimotility drugs to reduce cramping and stop diarrhea, and antibiotics for severe symptoms. To prevent Salmonella, we shouldn’t eat raw food, wash our hands well before and after handling food, and keep the kitchen surfaces clean before preparing food. (Salmonella infection – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic, 2020)

Fungi

Fungi are a kingdom of eukaryotic organisms which are heterotrophs and have important roles in nutrient cycling in an ecosystem. They reproduce both sexually and asexually and even have symbiotic associations with plants and bacteria. (Editors, 2020)

For structure and characteristics, some fungi are single-celled, while others are multicellular. They alternate between single-celled yeast and multicellular forms depending on what stage of the life cycle they are in. Also, fungi cells have a nucleus and organelles. Their cell walls contain chitin, which is a hard substance also found within the exoskeletons of insects and arthropods. However, they do not contain cellulose. Multicellular fungi have many hyphae that are branching filaments. (Editors, 2020)

One of the diseases caused by fungi is Ringworm, which is also known as dermatophytosis and is a fungal infection of the skin. The lesion caused by this infection resembles a worm in the shape of a ring and is used to describe tinea corporis, although it can sometimes be used to describe tinea infection in other locations ( tinea cruris). The disease can affect both humans and animals, and the infection appears as red patches on affected areas of the skin and later may spread to other parts of the body. Some symptoms of Ringworm including red, itchy patches, patches that develop blisters or pustules or may be redder on the outside edges and resemble a ring, patches with edges that are defined and raised,… (Ringworm: Symptoms, Pictures, Treatment, Diagnosis & More, 2020)

History of Ringworm:

  • The first case appeared in the 6th century BC in ancient India.
  • In 1842, David Gruby described a microscopic cryptogam (Trichophyton ectothrix) that is associated with a dermatological disease known as sycosis barbae.
  • In 1843, Gruby discovered Candida albicans and he described a fungus that is the cause of a type of ringworm.
  • From the 1850s, ringworm was regarded as a fungus disease.
  • Within the 1870s, this made it an early candidate to be a germ disease when debates about the causes of infectious and contagious diseases turned to microorganisms.(Homei and Worboys, 2020)

Some current treatments for this disease including topical medications ( antifungal creams, ointments, gels), washing bedding, and clothes daily during an infection to assist disinfect your surroundings, wearing loose clothing in affected areas and treating all infected areas. To prevent this sickness, we should wash our hands after interacting with an animal, disinfect, and keep our skin clean and dry. (Ringworm: Symptoms, Pictures, Treatment, Diagnosis & More, 2020)

Protozoans

Protozoa are unicellular, they are eukaryotic microorganisms without any cell walls. This group might be extremely complex and variable. (2020)

For structure and characteristics, protozoans are unicellular eukaryotic microorganisms and microscopic. They have a comparatively complex internal structure and do carry out complex metabolic activities. Some protozoa have structures for propulsion or other forms of movement. Also, they are heterotrophic microorganisms, and most species obtain large food particles by phagocytosis. However, they lack the capability for photosynthesis. Most protozoa reproduce by asexual methods, reproduction has been observed in several species and they may play a very important role as zooplankton, the free-floating aquatic organisms of the oceans. (General Characteristics of Protozoa, 2020)

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One of the diseases caused by protozoan is Malaria. It is a life-threatening disease and is usually transmitted through the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. When this animal bites you, the parasite will be released into your bloodstream. Once the parasites are inside your body, they will travel to the liver, where they become mature. After several days, the mature parasites will enter the bloodstream and start to infect red blood cells. Some symptoms of this disease including shaking chills that can range from moderate to severe, high fever, sweating, diarrhea, and bloody stools. (Malaria: Causes, Symptoms, and Diagnosis, 2020)

History of Malaria:

  • In 1820, Quinine first purified from tree bark. For many years later, the bark had been used to treat malaria.
  • In 1880, Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran discovered the parasites in the blood of malaria patients.
  • In 1898, Ronald Ross demonstrates that mosquitoes transmit malaria.
  • In 1902, Laveran wins the Nobel Prize for his work.
  • In 1907, Ronald is awarded the Nobel Prize for the discovery. (Drugs, Arrow, Panosian and Gelband, 2020)

Some current treatments for this disease including medication that contains antimalarial drugs such as Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), chloroquine phosphate,… To prevent this sickness, we should sleep under a mosquito net so that it may help prevent being bitten by an infected mosquito, covering our skin or using bug sprays containing DEET. (Malaria – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic, 2020)

Parasites

A parasite is an organism that lives in another organism, called the host, and sometimes harms it. It depends on its host for survival. Without a host, a parasite can’t live, reproduce, and multiply. (Parasites: Types, in humans, worms, and ectoparasites, 2020)

For structure and characteristics, protozoa are microscopic, one-celled organisms which will be free-living or parasitic in nature. They can multiply in humans, which contributes to their survival and also permits serious infections to develop from just a single organism. Protozoa transmission that live in an intestine of human to another person typically occurs through a fecal-oral route. Protozoa that live in the blood or tissue of humans are transmitted to other humans by an arthropod vector through the bite of a mosquito or sandfly. (CDC – Parasites – About Parasites, 2020)

One of the diseases caused by parasites is Amebiasis. Amebiasis is a kind of parasitic infection of the intestines which is caused by the protozoan Entamoeba histolytica. As E. histolytica is a single-celled protozoan, it usually enters the human body when a person ingests cysts through food or even water and can also enter the body through direct contact with fecal matter. When cysts get into the body, they will lodge in the digestive tract. After that, they will then release an invasive. And thus, they will burrow into the intestinal wall of the colon and cause bloody diarrhea, and tissue destruction. Some symptoms of this disease including loose stools, stomach cramping,… (Amebiasis: Overview, Causes & Symptoms, 2020)

History of Amebiasis:

  • In 1873, Amebiasis was discovered in Russia by Friedrich Losch.
  • In 1875, the first case of amebiasis was documented.
  • In 1891 the disease was described in detail, leading to the terms amoebic dysentery and amoebic liver abscess.
  • In 1913, the Philippines found that upon swallowing cysts of E. histolytica volunteers developed the disease.
  • In 1998 there was an outbreak of amebiasis in the Republic of Georgia. (Untitled Document, 2020)

Some current treatments of this disease consist of a 10-day course of metronidazole (Flagyl) that patients take as a capsule. The doctor might also prescribe medication to control nausea if the patients need it. If the parasite is present in intestinal tissues, the treatment must address not only the organism but also any damage to your infected organs. Surgery may be necessary if the colon or peritoneal tissues have perforations. (Amebiasis: Overview, Causes & Symptoms, 2020)

Virus

Viruses are microscopic parasites which are generally smaller than bacteria. They can’t thrive and reproduce outside of a host body. (Contributor, 2020)

For structure and characteristics, all viruses contain nucleic acid, either DNA or RNA (but not both), and a protein coat, which encases the nucleic acid. Some viruses are also attached by an envelope of fat and protein molecules. In its form, outside of the cell, a virus particle is called a virion. They can’t synthesize proteins, because they lack ribosomes and must use the ribosomes of their host cells to translate viral messenger RNA into viral proteins. Viruses cannot generate or store energy in the form of ATP but have to derive their energy and all other metabolic functions. (Molecular Expressions Cell Biology: Virus Structure, 2020)

One of the diseases caused by the virus is Hepatitis. Hepatitis refers to an inflammatory condition of the liver and it is a disease that happens when your body makes antibodies against your liver tissue. There are 5 types of hepatitis such as A, B, C, D, and E. Overuse of alcohol, medications, and exposure to poisons can also cause hepatitis. Some symptoms of this disease including fatigue, dark urine, loss of appetite,… (Hepatitis: Types, Symptoms, and Treatment, 2020)

History of Hepatitis:

  • In 1965, the serum hepatitis B virus was discovered by Dr. Baruch Blumberg, who won the Nobel Prize for what he discovered.
  • In 1967, he and his colleagues discovered the virus, developed the blood test that is used to detect the virus.
  • In 1969, the first hepatitis B vaccine invented.
  • In 1976, Dr. Blumberg won the Nobel Prize for what he discovered about the hepatitis B virus.
  • In 1981, the FDA then approved a more sophisticated plasma-derived hepatitis B vaccine that use for human. (Baruch Blumberg, MD, DPhil » Hepatitis B Foundation, 2020)

Some current treatments of this disease are determined by which type of hepatitis you have and whether the infection is acute or chronic. Acute hepatitis B doesn’t require specific treatment. Chronic hepatitis B is treated with antiviral medications. This form of treatment will be expensive because it must be continued for several months or years. This also requires regular medical evaluations and monitoring to determine if the virus is responding to treatment. Currently, no specific medical therapies are available to treat hepatitis A, C, D, and E. (Hepatitis: Types, Symptoms, and Treatment, 2020)

Conclusion

Microbiology has a lot of effects in real life as well as health science. Some microbes that are famous for scientists including Bacteria, Fungi, Protozoans, Parasites and, Virus. Thus, microbiology does not only help to identify and isolate the diagnosis and treatment of pathogenic microorganisms but it also produces some beneficial organisms ( yeasts and antibiotics) for Scientists to use and develop new methods for preventing illness, as it gives the information which further use to create vaccines and treatments for different diseases. To sum up, microbiology is important in daily life and without it, the health science area will not be as developed as now.

References

  1. Cdc.gov. 2020. CDC – Parasites – About Parasites. [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 May 2020].
  2. Contributor, A., 2020. What Are Viruses?. [online] livescience.com. Available at: [Accessed 27 May 2020].
  3. CVA, K., 2017. https://www.medwinpublishers.com/JOBD/JOBD16000139.pdf. Journal of Orthopedics & Bone Disorders, 1(7).
  4. Editors, B., 2020. Fungi. [online] Biology Dictionary. Available at: [Accessed 20 May 2020].
  5. Eustis, J., 2013. Tech Services on the Web: Steven J. Miller’s Metadata Resources Page https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/mll/www/resource.html. Technical Services Quarterly, 30(2), pp.237-238.
  6. Foundation, C., 2020. Bacteria Characteristics. [online] CK-12 Foundation. Available at: [Accessed 14 May 2020].
  7. Ryan, B., Dougherty, T., Beaulieu, D., Chuang, J., Dougherty, B. and Barrett, J., 2001. Efflux in bacteria: what do we really know about it?. Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs, 10(8), pp.1409-1422.
  8. Society, M., 2020. What Microbiologists Do. [online] Microbiologysociety.org. Available at: [Accessed 27 May 2020].
  9. Study.com. 2020. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 May 2020].

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The Significance Of Microbiology In Daily Life. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 2, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-significance-of-microbiology-in-daily-life/
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