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What is microbiology?
The study of microbes. Microbes are living organisms and non living entities that can only be viewed by microscope.
When do we think microbes first appeared?
3-4 billion years ago
What are the major categories of microbes?
- Prokaryotic: Bacteria. Archaea.
- Eukaryotic: Protozoa. Fungi. Yeast.
What are pathogens?
Pathogens are microbes that can cause disease. They make roughly 3% of all microbial life.
What are non-pathogens?
Non-pathogens are microbial life that do not cause disease. They make up the vast majority of microbial life.
Why study microbes?
Microbes live in our bodies as indigenous microflora, they can also cause disease. They have an important role in our ecosystem producing more oxygen than plants do and decomposing material. Understanding microbes shows us their importance in the world, how they help our bodies function or how they infect us and lastly it enables industry to create cures for diseases, manufacture certain foods or beverages. Microbes are used in agricultural, medical, pharmeceutical, forensic and scientific industries.
What are indigenous microflora?
Indigenous microflora are the microbes that live within the human body. There are many species of microbe living in each human, often in a mutually symbiotic relationship. They digest food, produce certain nutrients and protect from pathogens.
What are opportunistic pathogens?
Opportunistic pathogens are indigenous microflora that become pathogenic when they are in the "wrong" part of the body.
What are saprophytes?
A saprophyte is an organism that lives on dead and decaying meterial. They are the "recyclers" of planet earth, constantly decomposing material.
What is an infectious disease?
A disease caused by the colonisation of microbes.
What is microbial intoxication?
A disease that results of the ingestion of a toxin produced by a microbes.
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