Microbes exist practically everywhere. On our skin, in the air, in water, and just about any other place, you can imagine. But not all microbes are created equal. Here are the 4 types of microbes you should know and test for:
In certain locations, such as on food products or in the human body, certain microbes are a cause for grave concern. Read on to learn more about microbes, as well as some of the different types you should look out for.
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What Is a Microbe?
Microbes, or microorganisms, are so-called because when they were first discovered, they were thought only to be visible under a microscope. Today this definition has stretched to include many organisms, such as bread mold or the honey fungus, that are perfectly capable of being seen with the naked eye.
A better definition of microbes is that they are single-cell organisms. There are six main groups of organisms that fall under the umbrella of microbes: bacteria, viruses, fungi, algae, protozoa, and archaea. Many institutions, such as MIDI Labs, offer quick and effective testing to help clients identify particular microbes.
Four Types of Microbes to Look Out For
There are many different types of microbes, some of which are completely harmless. Some, on the other hand, can be detrimental to human health. Below are four such microbes.
Most of us have heard of E. Coli. This is a type of bacterial microbe that is often found in the intestines of people and animals. Most strains of this microbe are safe, with only certain strains spelling bad news for your health.
If a person were to be exposed to one of the bad strains, such as Enterotoxigenic E. coli or Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, they could fall ill. Diarrhea is one of the most common symptoms of exposure to this type of microbe.
Giardia duodenalis is a type of parasitic microorganism. It is transmitted to humans usually through untreated drinking water. From there, it enters and colonizes the small intestine.
This type of microbe can lead to the disease Giardiasis. Symptoms of this illness include fatigue, nausea, and diarrhea.
Salmonella is another well-known microbe. It is currently the leading cause of food-related illness in the US. It spreads through food and drinks such as undercooked meat, raw eggs, and unpasteurized milk.
This bacteria often causes a condition known as salmonellosis in humans. Symptoms include stomach cramping, fever, and diarrhea.
Staphylococcus Aureus is a common type of bacterial microbe. It can cause infections of the skin, blood, and lungs which, if left untreated, can be severe. Toxic shock syndrome and scalded skin syndrome are both caused by this type of bacteria.
Important Types of Microbes to Know
There are so many different types of microbes out there—good and bad. Knowing the difference between the two, and knowing when it might be time for an ID test, is the first step toward better health and safety for everyone.
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