Infectious Disease

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running head: UNIT 10. ASSIGNMENT

Environmental Microbiology

With so much advertising for various antibacterial products, many people have gotten the impression that all bacteria are harmful and that maybe the Earth would be better off if all bacteria were eliminated. What would life be like in a bacteria-free world? Bacteria help decay materials and put vitamins and minerals, and gases into the atmosphere. Without them the world would be able to produce little food. Bacteria are woven into the food chain. Without them, nutrients would not be recycled in soils as efficiently as they are. Our own digestion of food would not work so well without bacteria that lives in our stomach. Without bacteria, there would be no life on this planet. Without fungi, there would be no plants living on dry land, and, therefore, there would be little life on dry land. Water is usually tested for safety by using fecal coliforms (primary Escherichia coli) as an indicator of fecal contamination. The validity of this approach has recently been questioned. Why? Should it be used? The validity is questioned because "basing decisions on total numbers of ‘Coliform’ bacteria or ‘Fecal Coliforms’ is not supported by current science. These days, there is a lot of talking and a lot of confusion. It may be helpful to look at Figure 1 and realize that all ‘Fecal Coliforms’ are also ‘Coliforms’ and some Fecal Coliforms are non-pathogenic E. coli and some are pathogenic and toxigenic E. coli . Some pathogens, such as Salmonella are ‘Coliforms’ but don’t give a positive result in tests for “Fecal Coliforms’." (University of California, 2012) I feel that it should still be used until there is more information proving otherwise. I had a hard time finding information about this, so I'm assuming there has not been a lot of information collected and analyzed Suppose that your microbiology class is going to have a party where everything consumed is produced by microorganisms. What are some of the...
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