Major Concept About Bacteria To Man

Getting to know bacteria better, bacteria are of a huge collection of unicellular microorganisms lacking organelles and a prearranged nucleus (core), as well as a number of bacteria that can cause disease. The word bacterium is the singular of bacteria.
Bacteria are the most abundant of life on this earth. They are to be found almost every where, in the air in the soil, in dust, in fresh water and the sea and in all living and non-living organisms(plants and animals) and inorganic materials.
Every one of us gives a habitat(home) for many millions of bacteria. They exist in our skin, mouth and intestine. It is not astonishing that bacteria should play a vital part in human life, although they cannot be seen by us physically so that is why we do not always appreciate their importance.

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Useful Bacteria
  • Some bacteria which live in our intestines help us to manufacture certain vitamins like vitamin B12 for us while others help in the digestion of cellulose.
  • Large no of bacteria live in the soil. All gram of fertile soil contains more than 100million of soil bacteria. Soil bacteria are mostly saprophytes (i.e they feed on dead organic materials) and play a very important part as decomposers
  • The nitrogen fixing bacteria add to the amount of nitrogen available to plants most especially for leguminous plant for better growth and development

Harmful Bacteria
Many bacteria feed on the same foods as we do and in the route cause the food to get spoil. For example meat which is “going off” is being use as food by large numbers of bacteria. It is easy for bacteria to feed on the meat by passing out enzymes which cause the meat to breakdown or decompose.
The various processes we employ on food preservation help to safeguard our food either by killing the bacteria or make the inactive. For instance, cooking kills most bacteria though endospores may survive light cooking that is will we need to cook our food very well before eating most especially meat and other foods. Sun drying foods such as fish, makes the bacteria inactive and after a time, those which do not form spores are likely to die. Salting and smokng are other ways of making food unfavourable for bacterial growth.
Refrigeration does not kill bacteria because they can withstand cold, but it does make them inactive. When foods are canned the high temperature and pressures used kill all bacteria including the endospores present

The fact about bacteria is that they cannot grow without water.

Making Use of Bacteria

We use bacteria in a numbers of ways
  • Sewage disposal: septic tanks and modern sewage works make use of a variety of bacteria and other microorganism
  • Many of the antibiotics used to treat disease caused by pathogenic bacteria are themselves manufactured by other bacteria examples are streptomycin and chloromycetin.
  • Certain bacteria are used in butter and cheese making
  • Bacteria are used some of industrial processes including the manufacture of vitamin B12, because we have made mention of intestine bacteria helping us to manufacture vitamin B12 for our body use so that is the kind of bacteria using in manufacture of vitamin B12 and certain enzymes like amylase and invertase. Other bacteria are used in the production of vinegar and of lactic acid and citric acid, both of which are important in the food industry.

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