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KS3 Biology

8C Microbes and Disease


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Contents

8C Microbes and Disease


What are microbes?
Uses of microbes How microbes cause disease Fighting disease Summary activities
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What are microbes?


Microbes are very small living things and are sometimes called micro-organisms.
Microbes are so tiny that they cannot be seen with the naked eye. They can only be seen using a microscope.

How many different microbes can you name?

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Different types of microbes


There are three types of microbes:

microbes bacteria viruses fungi

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Bacteria fact file


Bacteria e.g. Salmonella and Streptococcus
size: 1/1000 mm shape: Bacteria can be spherical, rod-shaped or comma-shaped. structure: Bacteria are singlecelled organisms, which do not completely have a nucleus. Some cause disease, but many are useful. reproduction: Bacteria reproduce very quickly. Two can very quickly become four, then eight and so on.

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Bacterium structure

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Viruses fact file


Viruses e.g. flu virus and HIV (the AIDS virus)
size: 1/1,000,000 mm shape: Viruses have regular and geometric shapes. structure: A virus is a simple organism which does not display ALL the characteristics of living things. They are made up of a protein coating and some genetic material.

reproduction: Viruses can only grow and reproduce within other living things.
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Virus structure

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Fungi fact file


Fungi e.g. Penicillium and yeast
size: Some fungi can actually be seen with the naked eye, others are slightly bigger than bacterial cells. shape: Fungi come in many different shapes. structure: Fungi have the most complex structures of all the microbes. They feed off other living things.

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Fungi (yeast) structure

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Contents

8C Microbes and Disease


What are microbes?
Uses of microbes How microbes cause disease Fighting disease Summary activities
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Using microbes bacteria and fungi


Microbes have many uses that are based on the fact that microbes can be grown.
Bacteria grow in milk to make it go off. This type of bacterial growth is used to make milk into yoghurt. Cheese is another product that is made from milk.

Fungi can also be used to make food. The meat substitute Quorn is a protein produced using fungi.

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Using microbes yeast


Yeast is a type of fungus and carries out respiration. The respiration of this microbe can be used in different ways in baking bread and in brewing.
The aerobic respiration of yeast is used to make bread rise. Yeast uses the sugar in bread dough to carry out aerobic respiration:

glucose

oxygen

carbon dioxide

water

energy

What gas produced by the aerobic respiration of yeast causes bread to rise?
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Using microbes yeast


The anaerobic respiration of yeast is used to make beer and wine.
In this case, the yeast respires without oxygen and produces alcohol (ethanol). This process is known as fermentation. Yeast converts the sugar into alcohol by anaerobic respiration:

glucose

carbon dioxide

ethanol

energy

How do brewers make sure that yeast respire without oxygen?

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Contents

8C Microbes and Disease


What are microbes?
Uses of microbes How microbes cause disease Fighting disease Summary activities
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Microbes can cause disease


The diseases caused by microbes and their severity depend on the type of microbe.

viruses
influenza (flu)

bacteria
food poisoning

fungi
fungal sinusitis athletes foot Onychomycosis
(causes discoloured toe nails)

mumps
chickenpox

sore throats
tuberculosis (TB) tetanus cholera typhoid whooping cough bacterial meningitis

smallpox
polio rabies German measles viral meningitis
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Which type of microbe?

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How do microbes enter the body?


Microbes can enter the body in many different places.

eyes ears mouth nose

skin cuts genitals


How are the diseases caused by microbes spread?
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How are microbes spread?


The spreading of microbes and disease is known as transmission.
1. Transmission by air A cough or a sneeze can release millions of microbes into the air which can then infect somebody else.

2. Transmission by water
Dirty water can transmit many diseases, e.g. cholera, which can be transmitted by drinking.

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How are microbes spread?


3. Transmission by animals
An animal can carry a microbe from one place to another, e.g. a mosquito which spreads the malaria parasite. 4. Transmission by contact

Many microbes can be exchanged from one person to another by direct or indirect contact: direct contact by hand; indirect contact, e.g. by walking on a wet floor already contaminated by someone else who has athletes foot; sexual contact.
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How are microbes spread?


4. Transmission by contact
There are other forms of indirect contact, e.g. the transmission of microbes from mother to unborn child. Transmission through the placenta If the mother develops the HIV/Aids infection, it can be passed on to the unborn child through the placenta. Transmission via breastfeeding If a child is being breastfed, he or she can also pick up microbes from the mother via the mothers milk.
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How is the spread of disease stopped?


The spread of disease can be prevented by making sure that good hygiene is used in key places such as bathrooms and kitchens.

Chemicals called antibiotics can be used to treat bacterial infections.

People can be immunized against some diseases by the injection of a vaccine.

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Contents

8C Microbes and Disease


What are microbes?
Uses of microbes How microbes cause disease Fighting disease Summary activities
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Fighting microbes
How does the body fight off microbes that cause disease?

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What do white blood cells do?


The human body has a number of natural defences against microbes. Noses are hairy inside to trap microbes!
The body also produces white blood cells to help defend it from microbes. white blood cell

antibody Some white blood cells are able to produce chemicals called antibodies. These pairing with matching antigens on the surfaces of microbes and so help the white blood cells to engulf microbes.
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Some white blood cells can destroy microbes by engulfing them.

antigen

White blood cell engulfs microbe animation

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White blood cell and antibodies animation

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Contents

8C Microbes and Disease


What are microbes?
Uses of microbes How microbes cause disease Fighting disease Summary activities
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Glossary antibiotics Chemicals prescribed as medicine to kill


bacteria inside the body.

antibodies Chemicals produced by white blood cells


to fight microbes that cause disease. bacteria The type of microbes that are single-celled organisms.

fungi The type of microbes that feed off other living


things.

immune Resistance to infection caused by a microbe. microbe A very small living thing. transmission The spread of a disease from person to
person.

viruses The type of microbes that can only grow and


reproduce within other living things.
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Anagrams

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Multiple-choice quiz

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