1.1 Identify the differences between bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites.
Bacteria are living things that are neither plants nor animals, but belong to a group all by themselves. They are very small, individually not more than one single cell, however there are normally millions of them together, they can multiply fast. Bacteria are single cells that do not contain a nucleus. Each species has the ability to produce offspring and its population will expand until it runs out of food or it is limited by its own waste products, competition, or some other factor. They are microbes that are found everywhere. Most bacteria will not cause you harm and you may have heard it called helpful. Such as those that help digest food, create medicinal drugs and those that make yoghurt and cheese.
A virus is a small, infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of organisms. Most are too small to be seen with a light microscope. Viruses can infect all types of organisms. All viruses have genes made from either DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) or RNA (ribonucleic acid), long molecules that carry genetic information. They all have a protein coat that protects these genes and some have an envelope of fat that surrounds them when they are outside of a cell.
Fungi are Eukaryotes (an organism with a complex cell or cells). A relatively small number of these bacteria cause harm to man. Mould is a fungus and this reproduces by producing spores. Athletes foot is a common fungal infection.
Parasites invade the host, be that human, animal, birds, fish or trees. It is an organism that lives on, or inside, another organism to the detriment of the host. They can weaken but rarely kill their host.
1.2 Identify common illnesses and infections caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites.
Illnesses/infections caused by bacteria include, tuberculosis, salmonella, MRSA, food poisoning, dysentery, bronchitis, ear infections, strep throat/tonsillitis, pneumonia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, meningitis and chlamydia.
Illnesses/infections caused by viruses include Influenza, the common cold, stomach flu, pneumonia, HIV/AIDS, herpes, warts, dengue (mosquito borne disease), West Nile Virus (also spread by mosquitos) and encephalitis.
Illnesses/infections caused by fungi include athlete’s foot, ringworm and yeast infections.
Illnesses/infections caused by parasites include worms, schistosomiasis (an infection caused by a parasitic worm that lives in fresh water in subtropical and tropical regions), malaria, sleeping sickness (trypanosomiasis-an insect borne parasitic disease of humans and other animals) and leishmaniosis (caused by the protozoan Leishmanial parasites which are transmitted by the bite of infected female phlebotomine sand flies).
1.3 Describe what is meant by “infection” and “colonisation.”
Infection means that germs are in or on the body making you sick, this results in signs and symptoms such as fever, pus from a wound, a high white blood cell count,...