Why Would Microbes Cause Harm To Their Host Case Study

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GEH1043 – Microbes which Changed Human History
Student Assignment
Question 1

a) Why would microbes cause harm to their host, which would unavoidably cause their death with the host?

Some might wonder what are microbes and what harm something so small can possibly entail? Microbes are singled-cell living things that are not visible to the naked eye. In a study conducted, it was found that there are 40 trillion bacteria in the human body, as compared to 30 trillion human cells. [1] There are microbes, which are beneficial to the human in production of food or the medical and pharmaceutical field. Microbes are biologically wired to carry out certain functions. Some of these functions are – being able to pass on the entire genetic information to the next generation, produce viable offspring to prevent extinction, and lastly being able to adapt and change to environmental changes so that any dire change would not be able to wipe off the entire colony.

However there are also microbes that cause harm to the human body. These harmful microbes are termed as pathogens. Pathogens are anything that can bring about a
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However pathogens have mechanisms where it can mask its presence, such that the host would not be able to detect, and release antibodies to destroy the invading pathogens. The only way the host can eliminate pathogens, is by releasing antibodies, to form an antigen- antibody complex and finally be removed via phagocytosis. The masking of its presence in the host could be one of the many effects of evolution. As microbes from the past go through different unfavorable conditions over different periods of time, they undergo mutations often and some of these mutations can cause the microbe to have favorable characteristics that allow them to survive in such harsh conditions and pass on these characteristics to its

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