What’s the first thing that pops in your head when you hear the words “Microorganisms and Parasites”? Danger, sickness, harm? How about life-saving? Yes, various microbes help us survive on a daily basis. They exist in immense amounts and got a fair number of benefits to humans. But what are these benefits? Check our top 10 list of ways notorious beings are beneficial to humans.
Bacteria play a vital role in recycling nutrients. In decomposition, bacteria recycle nutrients such as nitrogen and carbon from complex organic molecules contained in dead animals and plants. Without this cycle, we wouldn’t have any of these valuable nutrients and we would be surrounded by accumulated dead bodies. Bacteria are also used in industry like in waste management and even in the breakdown of plastic wastes.
9- Food Production
Fungi, bacteria and protests don’t sound like familiar food ingredients, do they? Yet, they are key ingredients in many foods. Examples include yeast, a common fungus necessary for bread; probiotics, bacteria in yoghurt; and seaweed, another type of fungus.
8- Leeches and Maggots
The European leech (Hirudo medicinalis) has been used in medicine for years. Surgeons, veterinarians, and even ancient Egyptians are familiar with its benefits. Leeches have been proven effective in draining blood from swollen areas and before clotting. Therefore, it’s used in reattaching skin by drawing away blood.
Maggots as well have a huge print in medicine. At first look, you might find them nasty, however, maggots are principally used for cleaning skin. They eat up dead and infected skin and treat burns, gangrene, ulcers and skin cancer.
Virotherapy is a technique from biotechnology that drastically altered our point of view of viruses. Our daunting enemy is now used to protect and cure us from multiple diseases. Researchers used this technique successfully to kill cancer cells using a modified strain of HIV. Virotherapy confirmed high efficiency in gene transfer. It’s now used in treating disorders such as hepatitis and HIV, production of proteins and effectively killing tumors without harming surrounding healthy cells.
6- Fighting Bacterial Infection Using Viruses
Bacteriophages are viruses that precisely disrupt the mechanism of and destroy bacteria. Taking advantage of that, researchers now use phages to cure various bacterial diseases. The idea of utilizing it was abandoned by the presence of antibiotics until the discovery of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, phage therapy has then risen in interest to researchers. Better yet, unlike antibiotics, bacteriophages concentrates on attacking only the disease-causing organisms without harming any other bacteria.
Vaccine works in a way that makes the pathogen kill itself by itself. The pathogen could be weakened, in that manner, it doesn’t cause illness and ultimately makes the pathogen familiar to the body’s immune system for future infections where it can fight it. Some vaccines are recombined or genetically engineered and are made of segments of the infectious agent. Others are made of completely inactivated toxins and dead microorganisms. Smallpox, measles, and polio are examples of diseases which vaccination can save us from.
4- Gut Microbes
A study has shown that the number of bacterial cells inside us are higher than the number of our own cells. We will with ,no doubt, die without them. Bacteria in our guts doesn’t only help with digestion, but also with immunity, peristalsis, production of vitamin K and metabolism. Another study shows that not having enough bacteria in our guts can cause severe stress. Microbes also help in keeping our babies healthy, during pregnancy babies are populated by their mothers microbes, this also happens during lactation.
Cyanobacteria, also known as cyanophyta or blue-green algae, is an extremely important phylum of bacteria. It’s a chief element in our existence and the existence of nearly all organisms because they are considered the earliest photosynthesizers that generate oxygen.
2- Parasites and the Immune System
Parasites generally suppress our immune system, which certainly stands in our own favor. This suppression stimulates our body to fight back the process and to successfully strengthen our immune system. Parasites also help the body fight cancerous tumors and show positive effect on ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Even space taken up by some microbes in our body is beneficial since it protects us from pathogens taking place.
1- Bactria Protecting Us from Ourselves
An auto-immune disease occurs when our immune system misrecognizes our body cells as harmful invaders and begins attacking them. Since bacteria exists in our bodies naturally and blocks our immune system, experts found a way to introduce a kind of bacteria to the immune system, thus halting the harmful effects of antibodies.