H5 avian flu virus.
About 17 million birds
were slaughtered in the
Fraser Valley in February
2004 following an
outbreak of the H7N3
strain of the disease, but it
was a different strain from
the deadly H5N1 version
linked to nearly 250
deaths and other illnesses
in Southeast Asia, China,
Russia and Europe.
Tiny single celled
Differ from plant and
animal cells in that
they have no nuclear
Much smaller than
Protein coat and
(DNA or RNA)
Live in pairs
Chains of spheres
Spiral or cork-screw
Bacteria contain the genetic
blueprint (DNA) and all the tools
(ribosomes, proteins, etc.) they
need to reproduce themselves
Reproduce through binary fission
May exchange genetic material
E. coli bacteria,
found in the gut can
divide every 20
minutes - this could
yield 72 generations
per day -that's 40
with 21 zeros after it
Bacteria Named by Shape
Botulism is the result
of an exotoxin
produced by this
Staphlococcus - Grape-like clusters
Part of normal fauna
of face and nose
skin infections, boils
and pimples but a
virulent strain may
Streptococcus - Chains of spheres
strep throat, scarlet fever (caused by the
bodies immune reaction) rheumatic heart
resistant strains to
Normal inhabitant of the gut of many animals and
Indicator of fecal contamination of water and food
Escherichia coli O157:H7 (more than 70,000 a
year infected in USA)
Tooth decay is the destruction
of the outer surface, or enamel,
of a tooth. It is caused by acid
buildup from plaque bacteria,
which dissolve the minerals in
the enamel and create cavities.
Bacterial infection can be directly
treated through the use of antibiotics.
The action of these drugs is varied but
many interfere with bacterial
Remember E. coli with 72 generations
Penicillin – the first antibiotic
1928 Alexander Fleming was growing
staphylococci bacteria that he had isolated
from wounds on agar plates.
identified the fungus as Penicillium
Was unable to stabilize penicillin
1940 Ernst Chain isolated and purified
penicillin and human trials began
Penicillin kills bacteria by interfering
with the ability to synthesize cell wall.
Before the introduction of penicillin
many people died from bacterial
How many times have you taken an
It probably saved your life.
Antibiotics produced by Bacteria
they are produced by some bacteria to
prevent other bacteria from growing
near them and using up their food
Biofilms — snotty sheets of goo made by
bacterial colonies — may be the secret
superpower of the microbial world. When
bacteria are deeply encased in a biofilm, they
don't grow or reproduce. Since antibiotics work
by disrupting those same activities, such
bacteria are nearly invincible. Biofilms might be
behind the tenacity of chronic ear infections
and even tuberculosis.
The cyanobacteria or "blue-green
algae," have left a fossil record that
extends far back into the Precambrian -
the oldest cyanobacteria-like fossils
known are nearly 3.5 billion years old,
among the oldest fossils currently
short chain of cyanobacterial
cells, from the Bitter Springs
Chert of northern Australia (about
1 billion years old).
Many oil deposits are attributed to the activity of
The oxygen atmosphere that we depend on was
generated by numerous cyanobacteria
The chloroplast with which plants make food for
themselves is actually a cyanobacterium living within
the plant's cells
Women have a greater range of different
types of bacteria on the palms of their
hands than men, US research from the
University of Colorado at Boulder
Tuesday, 4 November 2008
Using powerful gene sequencing
techniques, researchers found a typical
hand had roughly 150 different species
of bacteria living on it.
The study detected and identified more
than 4,700 different bacteria species
across 102 human hands in the study.
However, only five species were shared
among all 51 participants.
• Even the right and left palms of the same
individual shared an average of only 17%
of the same bacteria types.
• On average, women had 50% more
bacterial species on their hands than men.
• The higher bacterial diversity on women's
hands may be due to the fact that men
tend to have more acidic skin, which
provides a more harsh living environment
for the microscopic bugs.
• Dr Fierer said the study also found hand
washing had little impact on the diversity of
bacteria found on an individual's hands.
• While some groups of bacteria were less
abundant following hand washing, others were
• However, the researchers said that washing
with anti-bacterial cleansers was still an
effective way to minimise the risk of disease, as
it seemed particularly to target harmful bugs.
Most are likely to be neutral, just living
there without doing any harm or good.
It is thought that having such flora on
our hands is probably beneficial,
because the bacteria occupy niches
which are then unavailable to
Prions are rather ill-defined infectious
agents believed to consist of a single
type of protein molecule with no nucleic
These agents are associated with
Kuru and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in
scrapie in sheep
bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in
The diseases are not caused by a
bacterium—or a virus—or anything
containing nucleic acid. They appear to
be caused by nothing more than a
misfolded protein, called a prion
(proteinaceous infectious only;
2). In addition, prions can apparently
cross species barriers.
BSE is unlike many other food-borne
pathogens in that it cannot be killed
simply by cooking the infected meat.
Milk and milk products from cows are
not believed to pose any risk for
transmitting the BSE agent.
In 1986, BSE (bovine spongiform
encephalopathy or ―mad cow disease‖),
a prion disease of cattle was described
The symptoms in affected cattle
rapidly changed behavior
inability to stand
When the epidemic peaked in 1993, an
estimated 1.2 million animals were possibly
infected, and the meat of about 730,000 BSE-
infected cows had entered the human food
Exports of beef from the United Kingdom
were halted, and entire herds of cattle were
destroyed to prevent the spread of the
disease. The economic cost was huge.
It was on September 10, 2001, that
mad cow disease began a crisis in the
North American beef industry.
Japan reported its first case of bovine
People in Japan stopped eating beef!
Impact on Canada
Canada has close to 13.5 million cows and calves.
About 5.7 million (or 42 per cent) are in Alberta.
Canada's total beef exports amount to $2.2 billion
annually, and have risen sharply in recent years.
Since 1991, beef exports have risen from 100,000
tonnes to about 500,000 tonnes. Growth in exports
has been greatest to Japan, South Korea and Mexico.
Alberta's share of total beef exports is 39 per cent
(worth about $860 million a year).
The disease was the
result of the practice
the Fore,people of
New Guinea in which
and consumed the
brain) of deceased
First, the disease can occur sporadically,
i.e. without apparent cause.
Second, the disease can be inherited.
10 – 15 % of cases
Third, the disease can be transmitted
Symptoms of CJD
The initial stage of the disease can be
subtle with ambiguous symptoms of
insomnia, depression, confusion,
personality and behavioral changes,
problems with memory, coordination
Symptoms of CJD
As the disease advances, the patient
experiences a rapidly, progressive
involuntary and irregular jerking
Problems with language, and sight,
muscular weakness, and coordination
Symptoms of CJD
In the final stage of the disease, the
patient loses all mental and physical
functions. The patient may lapse into a
coma and usually dies from an infection
like pneumonia precipitated by the
bedridden, unconscious state.
Treatment of CJS
At the present time, there is no known
effective treatment to arrest or cure
CJD. The disease is inevitably fatal.
The only treatments available for CJD
patients focus on easing their
symptoms and discomfort.