So, what are Pathogens?
and why should I know about them?
plural noun: pathogens
a bacterium, virus, or other microorganism that can cause disease.
A pathogen is usually defined as a microorganism that causes, or can cause, disease. We have defined a pathogen as a microbe that can cause damage in a host.
Bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi are all types of pathogens. A pathogen brings disease to its host. Another name for a pathogen is an infectious agent, as they cause infections. As with any organism, pathogens prioritize survival and reproduction.
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Your body is naturally full of microbes. However, these microbes only cause a problem if your immune system is weakened or if they manage to enter a normally sterile part of your body.
Pathogens are different and can cause disease upon entering the body.
All a pathogen needs to thrive and survive is a host. Once the pathogen sets itself up in a host’s body, it manages to avoid the body’s immune responses and uses the body’s resources to replicate before exiting and spreading to a new host.
Pathogens can be transmitted a few ways depending on the type. They can be spread through skin contact, bodily fluids, airborne particles, contact with feces, and touching a surface touched by an infected person.
Viruses are the smallest of all infectious agents, averaging about 100 nanometers (100 billionths of a meter) in length. They have so few genes and proteins of their own that in order to reproduce they need to commandeer the machinery of the cells they invade.
Bacteria vary widely in size and shape, but tend to be at least 10 times larger than viruses, or at least 1 micrometer (1 millionth of a meter) long. They are single-cell organisms that reproduce independently.
Single-cell parasites tend to be at least 10 times larger than bacteria, or about .01 millimeter long.
Multi cellular parasits are so large they can usually be seen with the naked eye. Tapeworms, for instance, can reach a length of 6 meters (20 feet).
Food and water are the most common sources of parasite transmission. Since most of us eat three times a day and drink water frequently throughout the day, our exposure to these sources is constant. Tap water has been found to be contaminated with parasitic organisms. Both plant and animal foods carry parasites, and cleaning and cooking methods often do not destroy them before ingestion. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) in the USA cites food as the catalyst behind 80 percent of the pathogenic outbreaks in the U.S.A. Most are linked to restaurants and delis where less than sanitary conditions exist - from food preparation and storage to the utensils and servers' hands.
Animals, just like humans, can become infected with parasites. Internally, contaminated water and food can spread the problem to our pets. Externally, animals become infected by parasites on their bodies, especially on their fur, because of exposure to infected animal wastes. Forgetting to wash your hands even one time after handling or cleaning up after your animal can transmit the parasite to you.
There are different types of pathogens, but we’re going to focus on the four most common types: viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites.
Viruses are made up of a piece of genetic code, such as DNA or RNA, and protected by a coating of protein. Once you’re infected, viruses invade host cells within your body. They then use the components of the host cell to replicate, producing more viruses.
After the replication cycle is complete, these new viruses are released from the host cell. This usually damages or destroys the infected cells.
Some viruses can remain dormant for a time before multiplying again. When this happens, a person appears to have recovered from the viral infection, but gets sick again.
Antibiotics do not kill viruses and therefore are ineffective as a treatment for viral infections. Antiviral medications can sometimes be used, depending on the virus.
Bacteria are microorganisms made of a single cell. They are very diverse, have a variety of shapes and features, and have the ability to live in just about any environment, including in and on your body. Not all bacteria cause infections. Those that can are called pathogenic bacteria.
Your body can be more prone to bacterial infections when your immune system is compromised by a virus. The disease state caused by a virus enables normally harmless bacteria to become pathogenic.
Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections. Some strains of bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics, making them difficult to treat. This can happen naturally, but also happens because of the overuse of antibiotics, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
There are millions of different fungal species on Earth. Just 300Trusted Source or so are known to cause sickness. Fungi can be found just about everywhere in the environment, including indoors, outdoors, and on human skin. They cause infection when they overgrow.
Fungi cells contain a nucleus and other components protected by a membrane and a thick cell wall. Their structure can make them harder to kill.
Some new strains of fungal infections are proving to be especially dangerous, such as Candida aurus, and have prompted more research into fungal infections.
Parasites are organisms that behave like tiny animals, living in or on a host and feeding from or at the expense of the host. Though parasitic infections are more common in tropical and subtropical regions, they can occur anywhere.
Three main types of parasites can cause disease in humans. These include:
They can be spread several ways, including through contaminated soil, water, food, and blood, as well as through sexual contact and via insect bites.
How to Get Rid of Parasites & Viruses?
The easiest way of doing this, within your reach, is to get a- which purifies the water you drink (or to clean your fruit and vegetables you will ingest) as well as purifying the air in a room. Pathogens are killed instantly upon contact with Ozone.
This info provided by HealthLine