Take a peek down the microscope and explore further the secret world of microbes.
A few harmful microbes, for example less than 1% of bacteria, can invade our body (the host) and make us ill. Microbes cause infectious diseases such as flu and measles.
There is also strong evidence that microbes may contribute to many non–infectious chronic diseases such as some forms of cancer and coronary heart disease. Different diseases are caused by different types of micro-organisms. Microbes that cause disease are called pathogens.
|Infectious disease||Microbe that causes the disease||Type of microbe|
|Whooping cough||Bordatella pertussis||Bacterium|
|Bubonic plague||Yersinia pestis||Bacterium|
|TB (Tuberculosis)||Mycobacterium tuberculosis||Bacterium|
|Athletes’ foot||Trichophyton mentagrophytes||Fungus|
It is important to remember that:
To cause an infection, microbes must enter our bodies. The site at which they enter is known as the portal of entry.
Microbes can enter the body through the four sites listed below:
To make us ill microbes have to: