Bacteria Bacteria are measured in micrometers, or

Bacteria are microscopic single-celled organisms thatdevelop in varied environments. Bacteria arefound in a large range of habitats, 5 milliliters or fertile soil may containup to 500 million singular bacteria. Some bacterial species live within other livingthings, such as fungi or animals, bacteria indwell in oceans, hot springs,snow, and deserts, the can be found high in the atmosphere, in the deepestmines and at the bottom of rivers and lakes, butcan only be seen using microscopes. The relationship between humans andbacteria is convoluted. Bacteria can be effective, for example, the bacterialiving in the intestine of humans are crucial for digesting food. However, somebacterial species can be damaging, causing diseases like pneumonia and MRSA. Bacteria areprokaryotes, they don’t have definite nucleus and lack many internal structures found in cells of eukaryotes, more complexorganisms. Typically, bacteria are smaller than the cells of eukaryotes, andlarger than viruses.

Bacteria are measured in micrometers, or microns. Onemillimeter is equal to 1,000 microns, and about 25,000 microns make up an inch.Some bacteria measure half a micron, Thiomargarita namibiensis, a bacteriumthat live in ocean grounds, measures up to 750 microns across.

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Pathogenic bacteria cause diseases by entering thebody, for instance through cuts in the skin. If the bacteria multipliessufficiently, it can lead to an infection. The infection can be caused by themicrobes, or by toxins the microbes produce.

Toxins, for example those producedby Staphylococcus aureus,are more dangerous than the bacteria. Acidophilus, Lactobacillus, Salivarius,Lactis, and Thermophilus are examples of beneficial bacteria. Salmonella,Chlamydia trachomatis, and Cholera are examples of harmful and dangerous bacteria.

 Antibiotics are medicine that areused to treat infections/diseases caused by bacteria or prevent the bacteriafrom multiplying, when used appropriately, antibiotics can be used to savelives, but using them wrongly can worsen the infection/disease. Antibiotics canstop bacteria from reproducing and/or destroy them. The immune system can killbacteria before the bacteria cause’s symptoms, by the white blood cells attackingthe pathogenic bacteria. Although, when our immune system is not able to fightthe bacteria and kill them, antibiotics are used. Bacteriostatic andbactericidal are two basic types of antibiotics, bacteriostatic are used forstopping the growth of bacteria, bactericidal are used to kill the bacteria. Antibioticsblock crucial processes in bacteria, helping the body’s natural immune systemto fight the bacterial infection. Depending on the antibiotic, the process inwhich it helps fight bacterial infections varies, for example, penicillindestroys bacterial cell walls, while other antibiotics affect how the bacterialcells functions.

The first antibiotic was developed in 1928, and many more havedeveloped since, some bacteria have altered and become antibiotic resistant. Antibiotic resistance bacteriadevelop when bacteria mutate in response to the antibiotic being used to fightthem, or by gaining resistance from another bacterium by undergoing a matingprocess called conjugation, antibiotic resistance bacteria causes the bacterialinfection to become harder to treat, it can lead to increased medical costs andmortality. Antibiotic resistance bacteria is a large threat to global health,and is rising to high levels everywhere around the world. Pneumonia, bloodpoisoning, and tuberculosis are examples of few of the infections that arebecoming harder to treat.

Not using antibiotics correctly and/or overusing themaccelerates antibiotic resistance, the antibiotic resistance bacteria latergets passed on to others. Only using prescribed antibiotics, washing hands moreoften, and practicing safer sex are few things that help control the spread ofantibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistant bacteria are transmitted as thebacteria moves from place to place, either moving on their own, through wateror wind, when people are in contact with one another, or by coughing etc.Antibiotic resistance bacteria can reverse and lose their antibioticresistance, but this process happens slowly.  Economically, antibiotic resistancebacteria is turning into a global problem, it relates to apatients cost for health care, it can affect the patient’s access to medicalcare, and patients might be skipping the process of getting prescribed medicine.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it isestimated that at least 2 million people become infected with super bugs thatare resistant to common antibiotics. They also estimate that at least 23,000people die each year, due to these bacterial infections. The economic burdencreated by antibiotic resistance in the United States is predicted to be $55billion (Health service costs and in lost productivity) each year.

Each year,over 50,000 people day in Europe due to infections cause by antibiotic resistantbacteria.  The way people have been using antibiotics, is helpingcreate a new antibiotic resistant superbug. Super bugs are bacteria that areresistant to various types of antibiotics. Antibiotics do not work fightingviruses, such as flus. Using antibiotics to fight a virus, instead of helpingfight the virus, the antibiotic will kill a large range of bacteria, amongthose, good and effective bacteria is also killed, the type that help digestingfood and staying healthy. Resulting in the surviving bacteria to have a higherchance on growing and multiplying. As more antibiotic resistant bacteriacontinue to spread, and as people handle with antibiotics incorrectly, thesesuper bugs can share their antibiotic resistance trait with other bacteria, resultingin drugs becoming less effective.

Scientists are using existing drugs todevelop new ones, that will be able to fight these superbugs, “We need to makethe best use of the drugs we have, as there aren’t many in the antibioticdevelopment pipeline (…) it’s important to understand the best was to use thesedrugs to increaser their effectiveness and decrease the chances of resistanceto emerge.”, said by Dr. Jane Knisely. Only taking anitbiotics when necessaryand not insisting on using them can help slow down the spread of super bugs,for example, parents often insist on getting their children antibiotics totreat a childs ear infection, but waiting for a while is recommended, most earinfections recover without using antibiotics. Washing hands often, not sharinghygienic items such as towels and body wash soap, and using antibiotics accordinglyare things people can do to do their part in fighting antibiotic resistantbacteria.  


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