Bacteria form the largest group of micro organisms. The bodies of microorganisms comprise a cell. Bacteria fall in different groups, some of which are dangerous while others are beneficial. Bacteria come in various sizes, shapes and form different arrangements. There are five main shapes of bacterial cells, the Cocci (rounded), the rods (cylindrical), Vibrios (comma), Spiral, and Filamento. Cocci with cells arranged in pairs are called diplococci, streptococci have cells in form of chains, sarcinae cells resemble a cube, while the cells of staphylococci are clustered. Bacterial cells are characterized by three major parts, the nuclear, cytoplasm, and cell wall each with a specific role. Cell division takes places in the nucleus to allow for multiplication of cells. The breakdown of food substances into absorbable products takes place in the cytoplasm. The role of the cell membrane is to allow absorption of substances into the body and eliminate waste products. The substances of the cell are sheltered by the cell wall. However, there are those that cause diseases (Srivastava 104).
Microorganisms are uncountable. They are found everywhere on land, water, and in the atmosphere. Microorganisms are too minute such that a microscope must be used to view them. Microorganisms multiply faster under the conditions that favor growth. The numbers of microorganisms in any environment is higher than of any other living thing. The major categories of microorganisms include the viruses, bacteria, and protozoa. Microorganisms serve important function as they help in the fermentation of sugars in the preparation of alcohol, separation of milk and cheese, and in the decomposition of organic matter, which enriches soil with nutrients. They are not only important to the health of human beings but they also improve the environment and economy. Some microorganisms cause destruction like causing diseases to human beings, crops, livestock, and spoiling food (Taylor 25).
Pathogenic versus non-pathogenic
Srivastava (106) states that pathogens are microorganisms that cause harm to the human body by causing diseases. Pathogens cause numerous illnesses. Some diseases are infectious in that they spread from one person to another while others are non-infectious. Mental illnesses like madness and deficiency diseases like rickets are not infectious. Infectious diseases spread from one person to another through consumption of water and food contaminated with pathogens, breathing in moisture droplets of an infected person, or through contact with the infected person. Examples are cholera, flu, and ring worms. Non-pathogenic microorganisms do not harm the body of human beings. They are usual flora, which develops in throat, nose and other body parts. An individual can live with non-pathogenic microorganisms for long because they do not interfere with body functions.
Antibiotics versus disinfectants
The majority of bacterial diseases are curable. Bacterial diseases are prevented and treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics are either injected into the bloodstream by a health professional or taken orally. Penicillin is a common drug that people use to cure bacterial diseases. The drug was discovered between 1881 and 1955 by Alexander Fleming. Disinfectants are chemicals that prevent or kill microorganisms, which threaten the body externally. Although the use of both antibiotics and disinfectants kill germs, antibiotics are intended to kill microorganisms that cause internal damages in the human body while disinfectants prevent and kill external microorganisms. Disinfectants are mainly used in cleaning surfaces like sinks, toilets, and countertops. Disinfectants are utilized in various ways. They are mixed with water for washing utensils to disinfect them. When added to bathing water, disinfectants kill germs, making it proper for use. Lysol spray, Dettol and other disinfectants are readily available in retail shops. Disinfectants may poison or kill an individual if swallowed (Srivastava 105).
Which cleaning is more effective against the growth of E.coli?
Escherichia coli (E.coli) are kinds of bacteria that dwell in human and animal intestines. Most Escherichia coli are useful while others, such as Escherichia coli O157:H7 cause vomiting, diarrhea stained with blood, pneumonia, respiratory diseases, and severe pains on the abdomen. Escherichia coli are caused by feeding on contaminated food and water, undercooked meat, and failure to observe hygiene. The development of Escherichia coli can be prevented by ensuring that surfaces are clean. This includes washing foods thoroughly before cooking, and ensuring that the kitchen, toilets, sink, door knobs and other surfaces are always clean. Cleaning should be done with the help of antibacterial soaps or wipes manufactured to kill the bacteria. People should also ensure that they wash hands after visiting toilets and changing diapers (Lee 55).
Under what kind of condition do most bacteria grow?
Like other living things, bacteria depend on the environment for basic needs, which enhance their survival. The rate of growth is affected by adverse conditions and in severe cases, bacteria will die. Nutrients, oxygen, temperature, water, light, and acidity and pH levels should be regulated for proper growth of bacteria. Suitable conditions for the survival of bacteria vary dependent on the kind of bacteria. Some bacteria grow well in high temperature regions while others require low temperatures.
Oxygen is a necessity for some bacteria and to others they can grow without oxygen. The level of pH also determines what bacteria to develop in certain environment and the rate of multiplication. Bacteria also differ in preferences of foods. Proteins, sugar, lipids, and starch are food preferences for bacteria. However, most bacteria require a warm and moist environment with continuous supply of food and sunlight to grow (Srivastava 110).
Lee, Sang. Systems biology and biotechnology of escherichia coli. New York, NY: Springer, 2009.
Srivastava, Sheela. Understanding bacteria. New York, NY: Springer, 2003.
Taylor, Jane. Microorganisms and biotechnology. New York, NY: Nelson Thornes, 2001.