Tag Archives: bacteria

Antibiotic Resistance

 

Antibiotics have been around since the 1920’s and play a huge role in the treatment of bacterial infections. But when used incorrectly, antibiotics can do more harm than good.

Treating infections is becoming increasingly more difficult. The overuse and misuse of antibiotics can cause antibiotic resistance, which happens when the bacteria changes to survive antibiotics.

This can promote the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria–superbugs. Continue reading

What’s a Gram Stain?

One of the first things you learn about in biology classes is something called a Gram stain. You have probably heard of it, and most likely knew what it was at some point in your life, but have long since forgotten.

A gram stain is a test to determine whether a bacterium or particular fungi has a thick layer of something called peptidoglycan (a structural agent) in its cell wall. Those bacteria or fungi who have this thick layer of peptidoglycan in their cell walls hold on to a violet colored dye used in the Gram stain test and are therefore called “Gram positive”. Those that do not are called “Gram negative”.

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The Beautiful Immune System Lesson 2: Protective Immunity

When our bodies become sick with a virus, bacteria, fungi, parasite, etc., our adaptive immune system, the one that “remembers” microbes, not only fights off the microbe but creates protective immunity against it.

Protective immunity is the body’s ability to resist a certain disease. The body’s source of protective immunity against microbes comes from the antibodies created by B cells, as well as the memories stored in the body’s specialized lymphocytes (B and T cells). By “specialized”, I mean they hold a special memory of the particular microbe the protective immunity is against. Continue reading

How are vaccines made and released to the public?


A vaccine’s main goal is to teach your immune system to recognize and remember a bacteria or virus.
The word “vaccination” means to stimulate the immune system to make antibodies against the bacteria or virus targeted by the vaccine.
“Immunization” is different; it’s used in relation to injecting a person with pre-formed antibodies to a particular disease to make the person immune to it.
These terms are often used interchangeably, and that’s just fine, however it’s important to understand that these are two very different ways of creating immunity to a disease.

Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine

Hib3

I once heard someone say that when you sneeze, droplets of saliva fly through the air and can land five feet away.Five feet!? Yuck! I’m not sure EXACTLY how far those droplets are carried through the air, but what I am sure of is that within those droplets are potentially millions of viral particles and thousands of bacterial cells.

One nasty bacteria in particular, called Haemophilus influenza (H. influenza), may be living in your nose and throat at all times and you do not even know it. In fact, you may not have ever come down with the illness and still have it in your body. And unfortunately, should someone who has it cough or sneeze and your child inhales the particles, it has the potential to make your child life-threateningly ill.

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