A. BASIC GROUPS OF MICROBES
The overall purpose of this Learning Object is to briefly introduce the organisms in nature that are considered as microbes.
LEARNING OBJECTIVES FOR THIS SECTION
In this course we will be looking at various fundamental concepts of microbiology, with particular emphasis on their relationships to human health. The overall goal is to better understand the total picture of infectious diseases in terms of host-infectious agent interaction. We will look at various groups of microbes and learn what they might do to establish infection and harm the body, we will look at the body to see the ways in which it defends itself against these microbes, and we will learn what can be done to help the body in its defense efforts.
There are 5 basic groups of microbes:
Bacteria are typically unicellular, microscopic, prokaryotic organisms that reproduce by binary fission (see Fig. 1 and Fig.2).
b. fungi: yeasts and molds
Yeasts are typically unicellular, microscopic, eukaryotic fungi that reproduce asexually by budding (see Fig. 3 and Fig. 4).
Molds are typically filamentous, eukaryotic fungi that reproduce by producing asexual reproductive spores (see Fig. 5 and Fig. 6)
Viruses are typically submicroscopic, acellular infectious particles that can only replicate inside a living host cell. The vast majority of viruses possess either DNA or RNA but not both (see Fig. 7 and Fig. 8).
Protozoa are typically unicellular, microscopic, eukaryotic organisms that lack a cell wall (see Fig. 9 and Fig. 10).
Algae are typically eukaryotic microorganisms that carry out photosynthesis (see Fig 11 and Fig. 12).
In Units 1 through 3 of this course we will take a closer look at each of these groups.
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Updated: may, 2013
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