Not all bacteria are harmful, and some bacteria that live in your body are helpful. For instance, Lactobacillus acidophilus — a harmless bacterium that resides in your intestines — helps you digest food, destroys some disease-causing organisms and provides nutrients.
What do microbes do for humans?
Bacteria break down (or decompose) dead organisms, animal waste, and plant litter to obtain nutrients. But microbes don’t just eat nature’s waste, they recycle it. The process of decomposition releases chemicals (such as carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus) that can be used to build new plants and animals.
How many different types of germs are there?
The four major types of germs are: bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa. They can invade plants, animals, and people, and sometimes they make us sick. Bacteria (say: BAK-teer-ee-uh) are tiny, one-celled creatures that get nutrients from their environments in order to live.
What are the bad bacteria?
Bacteria have gotten a bad reputation, and for good reason. Bacteria are behind a number of serious diseases — including pneumonia (Streptococcus pneumoniae), meningitis (Haemophilus influenzae), strep throat (Group A Streptococcus), food poisoning (Escherichia coli and Salmonella), and a variety of other infections.
Can you get sick from your own germs?
When you recover from that particular virus, your body no longer remains susceptible to that strain. As for re-exposure, that virus on the toothbrush, lip balm, mascara, sheets or towels won’t make you sick again. But if other viruses and bacteria linger on these items, a new illness can develop.