Microbes- Tiny but Deadly: Embibe Exams
  • Written By trisha
  • Last Modified 06-07-2022
  • Written By trisha
  • Last Modified 06-07-2022

Microbes: Tiny But Deadly

Microbes are small organisms that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Visualising the microbes requires a special instrument named a microscope. Microbes include bacteria, viruses, fungi, archaea, and even single-cell eukaryotes. Microbes are ubiquitous in nature. From the hands to the roots of your hair, microbes exist everywhere.

Microbes in our homes

Quick Facts About Microbes:
All the bacteria in our body collectively weigh more than 4 pounds.
– Microbes can make humans powerfully sick.
– There are more bacteria in a person’s mouth than the entire population of the world.
– There are around 1458 bacteria on your belly button.
– Damp hands have more bacteria than dry hands.

Know the Deadly World of Microbes

The microbes that are easily spread, pathogenic, and invasive to vital organs like the bloodstream and lungs, as well as those that are resilient environmental survivors and lack a specialised therapy or vaccination, are the most harmful to humans. The majority of them are zoonoses, which are diseases spread by animals and frequently by insects.

The top 10 deadly microbes are:

  • Streptococcus PyogenesStreptococcus pyogenes causes over 700 million infections globally every year and has a high mortality rate of 25 per cent in serious cases – once you have an infection the bacteria can cause a range of diseases ranging from sore throat and impetigo up to scarlet fever. Luckily, the bacteria is affected by penicillin, so it is treated easily in most cases – however, several strains are building resistance to various other antibiotics.
  • Neisseria Gonorrhoeae– Sexual contact is how gonorrhoea is transmitted, and it can result in a number of illnesses in both men and women. Over the past 50 years or more, some strains of the bacteria have developed antibiotic resistance and steadily transformed as medical professionals changed the way they treated the sickness by utilising various antibiotics. The bacteria’s tiny hairs, or “pili,” function as hooks to move and connect the cell to other sound cells. The cell can exert a force 100,000 times greater than its weight by using its pili!
  • Mycobacterium Tuberculosis– With evidence discovered in bodies thought to be around 9,000 years old, tuberculosis, also known as scrofula and the White Plague, has been a major cause of death and disruption throughout history. Both Nefertiti and her Pharaoh husband Akhenaten are thought to have passed away in 1330 BC from tuberculosis, and there are still writings from ancient Egypt that discuss the illness’ perils. As a result of the rise in antibiotic resistance, cases of the disease have increased since the early 1990s, even though there were only 5,000 cases per year in the UK in 1987.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Acinetobacter Baumanni – Since many medications no longer work against Acinetobacter baumannii, comprehensive hand cleanliness in hospital settings is presently the most effective way to combat this infection. It can be challenging for doctors to treat the bacteria because they can endure harsh conditions for extended periods of time. This makes them difficult to treat in individuals who are weaker and, when combined with rising resistance, provide a difficult task. Acinetobacter baumannii, sometimes known as Iraqibacter, became particularly common among wounded soldiers who visited numerous medical facilities during the Iraq war.
  • Escherichia Coli (E.coli) – The majority of E. coli are entirely safe and thrive in the human digestive system. The majority of the time, severe food poisoning caused by some E. coli strains can also result in meningitis and other illnesses. While it is uncommon to find these strains of E. coli causing sickness, it is another alarming example of a bacteria that has the potential to cause issues if our use of antibiotics is uncontrolled. Several strains of E. coli have been identified to have a significant amount of antibiotic resistance.
Escherichia coli
  • Klebsiella Pneumonia – The microbe Klebsiella pneumonia has shown to be highly resistant to various antibiotics and can cause various diseases. This bacteria can be deadly but tends to be ‘opportunistic’ and is much less likely to afflict healthy adults. It primarily affects middle-aged and older males with compromised immune systems. It is usual in the US to run tests to determine which strain is present in a patient in order to better inform doctors on how to treat them due to their high levels of resistance. This reduces the rate at which resistance accumulates, yet this bacteria continues to be a global health risk.
  • Clostridium Difficile C.difficile is one of the more well-known “superbugs” since it is frequently found in hospitals around the world. It generally causes a type of diarrhoea that is contagious and can create issues in the colon. Despite great efforts to improve hospital hygiene, there have been a number of big C.difficile outbreaks in the UK, and the bacteria is still a major cause of death across the globe. Antibiotic use actually increases your risk of contracting C. Difficile because these microbes are more likely to make you sick if your internal balance has been disturbed.
  • Pseudomonas Aeruginosa – Pseudomonas Aeruginosa exhibits an innate potential to develop antibiotic resistance and is quick to adapt and mutate in order to evade various antibiotic treatments. This microbe, which is referred to as “opportunistic” since it typically affects people who are already seriously ill, can seriously complicate the treatment of people with cystic fibrosis, AIDS, or cancer. Although it doesn’t now pose a serious threat to humanity, this bacteria will do so during the next years.
  • Burkholderia Cepacia – Burkholderia Cepacia, first identified in 1949 as the bacteria that makes onions rot, poses a serious risk to humans in some circumstances. It has exhibited significant levels of resistance to numerous types of antibiotics. It can thrive in harsh environments, even though it often responds well to treatment with a combination of antibiotics. Scientists have been working on new strategies to combat the bacteria as it increases antibiotic resistance and is particularly deadly to people with preexisting lung disorders like Cystic Fibrosis.
  • Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) – Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA as it is more often known, is a “superbug” that is extremely contagious and can cause anything from skin conditions to fatal illnesses like meningitis and pneumonia. By 1960, 80% of hospital specimens were resistant to antibiotics, despite being most frequently treated with Penicillin-type medicines. MRSA cases decreased by 84.7% in the UK between 2003 and 2011, demonstrating that prevention is frequently the strongest form of defence against infection. This decrease was the result of a concerted effort to track the illness and enhance hospital hygiene procedures.

The most deadly bacteria have a very high fatality rate, are classified as “biohazard-level 4” agents or high-risk agents, and are handled with the strictest infection control precautions. Most dangerous microbes are an issue in tropical and subtropical regions and in nations with low cleanliness standards and high population densities. Hygiene practices and thorough infection prevention must always be the cornerstones of infection control.

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