Showing posts with label Bacteria. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bacteria. Show all posts

Why Viruses are more harmful than Bacteria for Humans

Virus and Bacteria, both are known as harmful microorganisms that can harm our body. But virus has got a bad reputation compared to bacteria. Bacteria are sometimes good for us as they help in several functions of body, but it is not same for virus. Virus are known for some of the worst diseases that mankind has faced, such as HIV and Ebola. Virus are usually harmful and we will tell you the reason why.

What is a virus?
Virus is a protein, either DNA or RNA. It is a genetic material which needs some host cell to survive. So you can say that virus is a genetic material with no cell. Cell is known as the smallest living entity. Virus don't have a cell of their own, so they are always in need of a host cell that they can infect to multiply themselves.

Size of virus vs bacteria
Virus vary in size and they range from 17 nanometer to 1000 nanometer. One nanometer is 0.000000001 m. This size is so small that you can't see it even with a light microscope. Electron Microscope are necessary to study a virus. Size of virus is so small that they can be compared to atoms. Size of a hydrogen atom is 0.1 nanometer. Bacteria are much bigger than virus. They range from 200 to 10000 nanometer.

When were Virus discovered ?
Existence of virus was suspected near the end of nineteenth century when biologists were unable to find any bacteria responsible for some diseases/infections. They found these microorganisms much smaller than bacteria and they were unable to multiply in a solution as they were extracted out of a living body.

Virus is neither dead nor alive !
Viruses can't live on their own, so some biologists consider them as dead. They need a host body made up of living cells to let them survive. When virus enter a cell, then it replicates its proteins and infects other cells, which makes it something living. Virus is something between living and dead. It is a non-living genetic code without any cell and needs a host cell to be something living.

Are viruses more harmful than Bacteria ?
Yes, in most of the cases. Name of diseases like Ebola and AIDS can take your breath away. But there are some nasty bacteria like Neisseria meningitidis which can make you dead within a  day even after taking antibiotics. Some bacteria are equally harmful as viruses. There are lesser medicines to fight viral infections. New generations of resistant bacteria are equally harmful as we don't have any antibiotic to kill them.

Why viruses are more dangerous ?
It is because of the fact that virus can infect a cell. Both bacteria and human cell are prone to that infection. Virus is not a separate entity, as it infects by entering itself into a cell. Virus is nothing but a genetic code which disrupts the working of a cell and then starts multiplying itself. There are several good bacteria inside the human body, which can also be infected with a virus. To kill a virus we need to kill the infected cell itself which makes it more harmful for any living creature including humans.

How do our immune system fights with virus ?
Different types of white blood cells (WBC) are main part of our immune system and they can reach any part of body as they reside in the blood. Our body makes millions of them in the bone marrow every day. Macrophages (a type of WBC) destroy any germ that the detect inside the body, but virus infected cells need more advanced defense system. In order to do that more advance WBC known as T and B lymphocytes come into action. B cells make antibodies that bind themselves to virus infected cell in order to tag them and stop them from replicating. T cells act as the guard dog and informs other cells of immune system about the viral infection. Now other cells of our immune system can easily identify these tagged infected cells and kill them to destroy the virus completely. Even when a virus a destroyed some advance T and B cells creates an "acquired immunity" in our body to make our body more safe from the same virus. This acquired immunity can sometimes save our body from the same virus for complete life.

Even after all these facts about virus and bacteria, virus should be considered as more harmful. Our body has already got more bacterial cells in it than human cells. So we are more bacterial than human. But virus is something harmful to both bacteria and human cells. Virus can infect even a bacteria.

How do Bacterial cells differ from Human cells

Bacteria are microorganisms known to cause infections and diseases in humans. However this fact is widely misunderstood as our body has got more bacterial cells than human cells. Most of the bacteria are good for us and just a few percent of them are harmful for us. Those few percent of bacteria has made a negative image of bacteria in our mind and we, the humans, have done a lot of research to understand the structure of bacteria. Here we will tell you how a bacteria cell is different from human cell.

Human Cells are well known as eukaryotic cells, while bacteria cells are known as prokaryotic cells.
Nucleus, mitochondria, chloroplasts, Golgi, and endoplasmic reticulum are well known membrane-bound compartments with a cell. These tiny parts of cell are known as organelles and they define the property and function of a cell. These organelles are the major factor that differentiate a human cell (eukaryotic cell) from a bacterial cell (prokaryotic cell).

How do Bacterial cells differ from Human cells ?

  • The very basic difference between human cell (eukaryotic cell) and bacterial cell (prokaryotic cell) is that eukaryotic cells have organelles while prokaryotic cells don't have any membrane bound organelles, not even a nucleus. Prokaryotes include two groups: Bacteria and Archaea .
  • Bacterial cells are around 10 times smaller from human cells due to absence of organelles and simpler structure. Eukaryotic cells have a size of 10-100um, while prokaryotic cells are of 1-10um.
  • Bacterial cells are unicellular, so they are complete as a single cell. While human cell (eukaryotic cell) are part of  multicellular organisms which are developed after a long process of evolution.
  • Bacterial cells don't have a true membrane bound DNA inside the nucleus, as human cells have. DNA is the basic component to store the genetic material.
  • Usually bacterial cells have single circular chromosome while human cells have multiple linear chromosomes.
  • Bacterial cells have cell wall made up of mucopeptide or peptidoglycan, while human cells don't have cell wall. Don't get confused with the fact that some eukaryotic cells have cell wall, such as plant cell. Even when a eukaryotic cell has a cell wall, it is made up of cellulose.
  • Bacterial cells have higher metabolic rate, a higher growth rate compared to human cells.
  • Bacterial cells have shorter generation time compared to human cells.

Is Human Body made of / for Bacteria !

We usually think that bacteria is harmful but this notion will change after reading this article. If you are reading such information for the very first time then you might be surprised to know that your body is full of bacteria, but some people still think that bacteria harm them. If you really care about your body then you must know about bacteria in detail to keep yourself healthy. A general thinking about bacteria is that they are the disease causing agents for our body. But the truth is that most of the bacteria are good, and only a few percent are bad bacteria which are responsible for causing disease.

Good Bacteria vs Bad Bacteria

Some researchers say that human body have 10 times bacteria than the number of cells in human body. However some new researches has decreased this ratio but still the estimated count of bacterial cells in human body is more than number of human cells. There are 30 trillion human cells in the body of an average human being. Out of them 84% are RBC (Red Blood Cells). A research done at Weizmann Institute in Israel found that there are 39 trillion bacterial cells in body. Fungi, viruses and archaea present in our body are not counted in these bacterial cells. The range of these bacterial cells range from 30 to 50 trillion in different individuals depending on their gender and lifestyle. It simply means that we have got more bacterial cells than our own cells.

This research confirms that our body is host for a large range of bacteria. Usually we think of our body as a single entity, which is complete in itself. But the truth is just opposite. Our body is incomplete if it does not act as a host to numerous other microorganisms. Bacteria is a major part of these microorganisms residing in or body without our knowledge. Our whole body and metabolism is dependent on these bacteria to function properly.

Bacteria digest our Food : Our mouth, stomach, intestine and complete digestive system is full of bacteria and these bacteria are responsible for digesting the food that we eat. We can't get full nutrition in absence of these bacteria.
Bacteria develops Immune System: Our outer skin is full of bacteria and they help in developing immune system. If they are not there from beginning then our immune system can't fight with any invasive harmful bacteria.
Bacteria is first layer of defense: Our outer skin is full of bacteria. More than 200 species of bacteria reside there. They don't let any other harmful bacteria reside on our skin. We get infected with any bad bacteria only if it crosses that first layer of defense, which are good bacteria residing on our skin.

Some bacteria are useful in one organ but harmful in other. Its best example is E-Coli which causes UTI. This bacteria is meant for intestine, but if it migrates to urinary tract then it causes harmful infection. Similarly Staph bacteria resides on our skin without causing any harm, but if it gets inside through any cut or compromised immune system then it may cause infection. Every bacteria in our body is meant for a specific location and has a specific function to perform.
Note: Some studies have shown that those children who are kept in fully sanitized environment are more prone to asthma and other allergies.
So think twice before you have any antibiotic to treat a minor disease. Facts about antibiotics and bacteria

You must have heard that humans are a social being and need good coordination with our friends, relatives and society to live a good life. But what most of us don't know is that we have got a similar population living inside us in the bacterial form and a proper balance among them is necessary to live a healthy life. In reality we are more bacteria than human.
It won't be wrong to say that human body is made up of bacteria and made for bacteria. Some of the bacteria present inside body can't survive outside our body as the environment outside is not suitable for them.

Broad vs Narrow spectrum Antibiotic

Antibiotics are a type of medicines that have the capability to either kill bacteria or make them weak enough so that they can't harm us. There are basically two types of Antibiotics: Broad Spectrum Antibiotic and Narrow Spectrum Antibiotic. Before understanding these types its important to understand Antibiotics and Bacteria.

When Penicillin was discovered, antibiotics became a superhero in the world of medicines due to their capability to kill various kind of bacteria. But now a days same antibiotics are becoming villain of medical industry as they are unable to kill Resistant Bacteria (also known as SuperBug). These Resistant Bacteria are created by none other than these well known antibiotics.

Those Antibiotics that can kill a wide variety of bacteria are known as Broad Spectrum Antibiotic. They can act as medicines for more than one infectious diseases. Usually people think that its a good characteristic while its not. Such antibiotics not only kill bad bacteria but also good bacteria that are beneficial for our body.

Good Bacteria vs Bad Bacteria

Narrow Spectrum Antibiotic kills only a few or just one variety of bacteria. Usually they are meant to treat only one disease. It makes them a good antibiotic that hits to the point and don't harm good bacteria.

Broad Spectrum Antibiotics and their improper use is responsible for generation of resistant bacteria. However Narrow Spectrum Antibiotic can also create them if used improperly but chances are less comparative to Broad Spectrum Antibiotics.

Due to the above mentioned disadvantage of Antibiotics, now people are moving towards natural antibiotics which are natural food items with no disadvantage.

Good Bacteria vs Bad Bacteria

Bacteria are part of our life. Usually we think about them as a threat to human race, while its not so. We mostly hear about bacteria as a pathogen which makes us sick. But the reality is that most of the bacteria are good. Even those bacteria, whom we think as bad bacteria are necessary for our body. A healthy balance of 85:15 between Good and Bad Bacteria is necessary for our body to work normally.

Some facts about Bacteria and Our Body

  • There are always more that 100 trillion bacteria in and on our body.
  • Total number of bacteria in our mouth is more than human population on Earth.
  • Only 1-10% of total species of bacteria are discovered by Scientists.
  • Our digestive system can't work normally without bacteria as they help is digesting a number of food items.
  • Bacteria are available in plenty in our atmosphere, our skin and inside our body. 
  • Good bacteria in our digestive system are capable of killing various bad bacteria if they come along with some food item.

How Good Bacteria Kills Bad Bacteria

Every bacteria have a certain pH level range in which they can survive. pH level below 7 is acidic and some good bacteria can survive upto 3 pH level. When good bacteria breaks down and ferments the food that we eat, it becomes acidic. It automatically kills some bad bacteria that can't survive till that pH level. The bacteria responsible for botulism can't survive below 4.6 pH level. Such bacteria is easily killed in a healthy body where good bacteria are in appropriate amount.

Antibiotics kill both Good and Bad Bacteria

Usually we take antibiotics to get rid of some bad bacteria. But most of the antibiotics are Broad Spectrum Antibiotics, which kill a wide range of bacteria. It means that in order to kill one bad species of bacteria, several good species of bacteria are killed. Sometimes this practice causes lack of good bacteria in gut and creates some side-effects in our body. Most of these good bacteria are unable to regenerate themselves in our body and we again visit the same doctor to treat them and the cycle continues.

Probiotics for Good Bacteria

Now a days Probiotic Drinks are gaining popularity as they contain Good Bacteria necessary for our body. Consuming them can help up to some level in regenerating some good bacteria which are destroyed either by antibiotics or some other reason.

Bad Bacteria are also necessary for Body

If you think that only good bacteria are helpful for our body then you are wrong. Some bad bacteria are also necessary. In a healthy human being 15% of total bacteria in body are bad bacteria. One of the best examples of it is Escherichia coli (E coli). This bacteria has got a negative reputation among most of us, but what we don't know is that E Coli is usually available in our Gut and Skin. It harms us only when our body is out of balance and we are lacking some good bacteria that can save us from harmful effects of E Coli.

Good Bacteria can also Harm an Imbalanced Body

If your body is out of proper balance of Good and Bad Bacteria then even good bacteria can do harm to your body. A stressed body can also create such environment. A stressed or out of balance body can change a "dormant" good bacteria into an active bacteria which starts to colonize itself and harms your body.

So in order to stay healthy and maintain a good balance of good and bad bacteria in your body you must avoid taking unnecessary antibiotics and live a less stressful life. Some Probiotics can also help in maintaining this balance. Being close to nature is always a helpful thing in living a less stressful and healthy life. 

Natural Antibiotics vs Synthetic Antibiotics

Antibiotics are those medicine which combat against bacteria and either kills them or makes them unable to harm human body. After the discovery of Penicillin by Alexander Fleming in 1928, the medical world found something new to treat diseases and so many antibiotics were developed since then. But now people are facing various side effects of these synthetic antibiotics. Usually we think that there were no antibiotics before 1928, but there were. Our mother nature has provided various natural antibiotics in form of herbs and various food items, we just ignore them and take them as traditional medicines. Here we will tell some pros and cons of these antibiotics and how natural antibiotics are better than the synthetic one.

  • The vary first thing that is taking us back towards Natural Antibiotics is the creation of Superbugs by Synthetic Antibiotics. Improper usage of synthetic antibiotics have created resistant bacteria which can't be killed by any synthetic antibiotic available. It means that a few decades before the bacteria were not as much powerful as they are today, and we have got no antibiotic to kill them. 
  • Synthetic Antibiotics are of two types: Narrow Spectrum and Broad Spectrum. Narrow Spectrum antibiotics are better as they kill only those bacteria for which they are developed. While Broad Spectrum Antibiotics kill a wide variety of bacteria. All bacteria are not harmful. Our body is habitat of several good bacteria and these broad spectrum antibiotics kills those good bacteria as well and it leads to side effects. Doctors often prescribe the broad spectrum antibiotic to have a better chance of killing the disease causing bacteria, which is making humans more sick. 
  • Ayurveda, an Indian Medicine Technique, is based on the natural resources to treat diseases. Several natural antibiotics were described in books of Ayurveda. Those who have some knowledge about Ayurveda know the fact that Ayurvedic Medicines don't have any side effect.
  • If we compare the functioning of Natural and Synthetic antibiotics than it can be easily understood which one is safer. However the working speed of Synthetic Antibiotics is faster than natural antibiotics. But a slow recovery without any side effect is better than a fast recovery with side effects.
  • Our body is also capable of fighting with several bacteria and diseases. Instead of directly killing the bacteria, some natural medicine just improve the immune system (natural mechanism in body to fight diseases) and help our body to kill that bacteria itself. 

Turmeric Root, Garlic, Honey, Cabbage, Apple, Onion, Cardamom, Fenugreek and many more. There are uncountable food items in nature which are easily available in our kitchen or kitchen garden and can protect/treat various diseases. We just need to do the correct research to find correct natural antibiotic for specific bacteria/disease.

It does not matter how well we know the functioning of our body, there are still a number of things we don't know about it. Whenever humans have tried to take nature in his own hand something wrong has happened. Instead of developing these synthetic antibiotics we should put some research on Natural Antibiotics and find which bacteria can be killed by which natural antibiotic. It would not only take us closer to nature but several new healthier ways of living a disease free life will be discovered.

Lack of New Antibiotics in Global Market

Antibiotics are the class of medicines that doesn't existed before 1930s. The very first antibiotic was Penicillin, which was known to cure a wide range of diseases. After that a wide range of Antibiotics were discovered till 1970. But now Antibiotic discovery has reached a point where they are not getting attention of either governments or pharma companies. In this article we will try to put some light on this issue and try to find the reason behind lack of new antibiotics in global market.

Why No New Antibiotics ?

No new antibiotics are coming into market due to various reasons. Some of the major reasons are:

  • Market Failure: Antibiotics are not as profitable as other drugs, such as drugs to treat hair loss, diabetes and asthma. Most pharmaceutical companies are private and they go for profitable business. Antibiotics research takes a lot of time and money.
  • Doctors don't prescribe new Antibiotics: Even if the new antibiotic is effective, doctors don't start prescribing it. They save it for those cases where other antibiotics don't work. Doctors are well aware of resistant bacteria and they want to keep some surprise element for them. But this thing makes pharmaceutical companies keep themselves away from new antibiotic production.
  • Lack of Rules and Regulation: Most of the governments don't have proper rules, regulations and guidelines for research, development and clinical trials of new antibiotics.

Classes of Antibiotics: The following table shows the year of introduction of some Antibiotic Class. Here you can see that most of the antibiotics were discovered between 1930 to 1970.

According to a news published in The Telegraph on 7th Jan 2016, a new antibiotic named Teixobactin is discovered that can fight against a wide range of bacteria. Good thing is that bacteria can't become resistant to it for at least 30 years. But the bad thing is that this antibiotic is still to go for human testing and it will take at least 5 years to be available in market for general public. Discovery of this new antibiotic has created a new class of antibiotic and made a way to create antibiotic through genetic engineering.

Apart from the above discovery, governments of different countries should also provide some fund for Scientific research on new antibiotics. Private pharma companies will only go for profit, but government can either ask them to invest certain percentage of their profit on Antibiotic research or just make it mandatory for them.

We hope that new and better antibiotics will be available in market soon.

Facts about Antibiotics and Bacteria

In the modern world where resistant bacteria is emerging as a threat to humans, its necessary to understand the infections, bacteria and antibiotics. Here we will provide some facts which will not only increase your knowledge but also help is treating infections with correct medicines. Here are the facts.

  • The Word Antibiotic originated from "Antibiotique",which was first used during 19th Century. At that time it meant "destructive to microorganisms". Still most of the dictionaries use the same meaning. In 1942 Selman Waksman started to use the term Antibiotic only for those compounds that kills bacteria.
  • All infections can't be treated by Antibiotics. Antibiotics can fight with only bacterial infections or some pathogen infections, not viral infections.
  • Due to lack of knowledge or knowledge of wrong definition of Antibiotic, one-third of US Adults think that Antibiotic can treat viral infection.
  • Over or under usage of antibiotics and using antibiotics for viral infections can help bacteria in becoming resistant to antibiotics.
  • Most of the antibiotics are made using bacteria itself. Bacteria produce antibiotic as a defensive measure to compete against other competitors.
  • 20th part of our total body weight is due to bacteria.
  • All bacteria are not harmful to us. In fact some are necessary for our body to work normally. But Antibiotics can't distinguish between these good and bad bacteria, and kill both which eventually lead to side effects.
  • HAI (Hospital Acquired Infections) are those infection that a person gets after a surgery or during a hospital stay. It might be due to lack of hygiene or from other infected patients.
  • 1.7 million Americans are infected by HAI infections every year. Around 99,000 of them die due to it.
  • In 2008 Medicare refused to pay bills for HAI (Hospital Acquired Infections).
  • Day-by-day Antibiotics are becoming less effective either due to over-prescription or inappropriate use.
  • Biggest consumers of Antibiotics are Farm Animals. Antibiotics are mostly used in Pig and chicken farms. 
  • 2nd biggest consumer of Antibiotics are children who are usually sick due to viral infection.
  • Antibiotics can combat against multiplying bacteria. They are less effective against non-replicating (latent) bacteria.
  • According to a study, those doctors who see more than 34 patients per day are 20-27% more likely to prescribe antibiotics where they are not appropriate.
  • Some researchers believe that Antibiotics have cased increased height and obesity in human race.
  • Green tea can act as a booster for Antibiotics. The effect of antibiotic increases if the patient drinks green tea.
  • Antibiotics may have negative effect on our immune system. Those kids who are prescribed lots of antibiotics before 2 years of age are 3 times more prone to asthma that other kids.

Superbug Bacteria Infection - An Artificial Disease

A recent incident of a Nevada woman dying from Superbug Infection that she probably got from India has raised the issue of lack of understanding of medicine use. Its not wrong if we say that Superbug is an artificially created disease by human ignorance. The bad thing about Superbug infection is that it can't be treted by any known antibiotic. Before we proceed further its important to know what is this Superbug Bacteria Infection.

Superbug Bacteria

Superbug Bacteria feature can be acquired by any common bacteria. This superbug feature makes it a superpower among other bacteria as it can't be killed by using any antibiotic. Superbug bacteria is made by adaptation in bacteria. But we the people who use antibiotics are responsible for this adaptation. Superbug is not created in a day. Its made by decades of use of antibiotics without any prescription from doctors.

How Superbug Bacteria is created ?

As we said earlier that Superbugs are not created in a day. These are invented by human ignorance towards usage of Antibiotics from past century (if not more). In most of the cases people don't have patience to visit a doctor and take any leftover antibiotics to treat their illness. They don't even care if they are suffering from a bacterial infection or a viral infection. In most of the cases a person suffering from common cold or flu, which is a viral infection, uses antibiotics. He/she have no idea how his/her illness is getting treated. Normal Cold and flu can be treated even without any medicine. But once they feel relieved they use those antibiotics again in future for same viral infection. This thing does on harm to virus but provides a good environment to bacteria to evolve and generate genes resistant to that particular antibiotic. The worst thing about bacteria is that they can carry and pass genes to next bacteria. Now if resistant genes of all different resistant bacteria ends up in one bacteria, then this bacteria becomes a Superbug, which can't be treated by any antibiotic available in the market.

Types of Superbug

Superbugs are usually named after the resistance they have acquired from a group of antibiotics. Here a few known superbugs that the affecting people around the globe.

  • MRSA: Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus
  • C.Diff : Clostridium difficile
  • VRE: Vancomycin-resistant enterococci
  • CRE : Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae
  • CRKP : Carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae
  • Necrotizing fasciitis : the flesh-eating bacterial disease

The Nevada Women who died recently due to the superbug was suffering from a  bacteria named New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM), a highly resistant form of CRE (carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae) .

Some of the bacteria that acquire the superbug gene are generally available on our skin or digestive system, but they are of no harm to us unless they become superbug due to our own mistake. For example Staphylococcus aureus is a normal bacteria present in our nose and respiratory system, but if it becomes resistant then it can become MRSA.

It is a social duty of ours to takes antibiotics only when necessary after prescription from a doctor and follow the complete course. If we take antibiotics at our own will then we will not only make ourselves prone to superbug infection but also those who are close to us.

Antibiotics Effect on Bacteria | Our Body and Immune System

Have you ever seen people fond of suggesting medicines to a friend and also taking medicines in each and every minor problem. If their body temperature goes above 36.5 C, they will immediately take Paracetamol tablet and may also take an antibiotic. And Now! No need to see a doctor! Hurray!

Such people aren’t doing anything good but making their immune system as much week as possible. If we talk about fever. It’s a natural process of our body to deal with a disease or infection.

Fever and Medicine

Most of the bacteria have a certain range of temperature in which they can survive, and a rise in body temperature paralysis them and help our WBC (White Blood Cells) to fight against them. We should never take medicines in mild fever as in short term it might help you to get rid of fever but in long run it will make your immune system weaker and weaker and weaker.

Mild fever ranges from 36.5 C to 39.5 C. This temperature is OK for our body and will not harm us. But if it goes above39.5 then we should consult a doctor and take proper medicine. Avoid taking higher does to get rid of fever as soon as possible.

Effect of Antibiotic on Human Immune System

Some people like antibiotic so much that they take antibiotic if they are feeling any mild unconfortableness in their body. Here we have listed few effects of antibiotics:

  • Sometimes it’s a viral infection and taking antibiotic will have no effect on virus.

  • All bacteria are not bad, but antibiotic will treat all of them in same manner.

  • Antibiotic destroys some beneficial digestive enzymes and affect our digestive system.

  • It reduces our bacterial resistance power and we will catch any bacterial infection more easily.

  • If you take antibiotic when you don’t need it, then it will not work when you need it. Its because body will develop its resistance power against that antibiotic.

Instead of taking medicine we can try some food items which can make our immune system stronger. There are number of seeds, vegetables and fruits which are antibacterial and anti-viral in nature. We just need to do a little research and use them in our diet and stay healthy.