Persons with a weakened immune system. This includes those with AIDS and cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
A communicable disease caused by bacteria. It affects millions of people around the world and can be cured by antibiotics, but increasingly the pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to the most widely used antibiotics.
The smallest of living organisms. Viruses are made up of a ball of protein that contains a small amount of the virus DNA. They can only reproduce after they have infected a host cell
Protozoa are one-celled animals
A group of single-celled organisms with few organelles and where the genetic material is not contained in a membrane-bound nucleus. They include bacteria and blue-green algae (cyanobacteria).
Fungi (singular fungus) are either uni-cellular, as in yeasts, or multi-cellular, as in mushrooms, toadstools and moulds. Fungi have a nucleus, cytoplasm and a cell wall
Cells that make up animals, plants, fungi and protista. They are three-dimensional, membrane-bound sacs containing cytoplasm, a nucleus and a range of membrane-bound organelles.
Single-celled organism. Has a cell wall, cell membrane, cytoplasm. Its DNA is loosely-coiled in the cytoplasm and there is no distinct nucleus
Infectious diseases cause millions of deaths globally every year. Microorganisms that cause infectious diseases include bacteria, fungi, viruses and protozoa.
These microorganisms all differ in size and structure. One key difference between bacteria and fungi is that bacteria are prokaryotic and fungi are eukaryotic. For more information on this have a look at pathogens and the immune system.
Bacteria can cause a range of infections including tonsillitis (usually caused by Streptococcus pyogenes) and tuberculosis (caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis).
Fungal infections range from less serious athlete's foot (caused by Trichophyton rubrum) to life threatening invasive candidiasis (a bloodstream infection caused by Candida). Usually only immunocompromised patients develop life threatening fungal infections.
Antimicrobial medicines treat a range of infections- they are vital in today’s society. Antimicrobial resistance is a global problem. In 2016, approximately 700,000 people died due to antimicrobial resistance. If nothing changes, by 2050 antimicrobial resistance will result in 10 million deaths per year. Antimicrobial resistance is a huge threat to global health - we must take action!
This resource will help you to understand:
Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) shown under scanning electron micrograph
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A list of often difficult or specialised words with their definitions.