From peaceful coexistence to potential peril: ... - CLL Support

CLL Support
13,858 members21,792 posts

From peaceful coexistence to potential peril: the bacteria that live in and on us

0 Reply

"Bacteria are everywhere, including in and on our bodies.


Bacteria can be good. Our gut is full of bacteria, which help digest food. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut and yoghurt are made with, and contain, millions of bacteria.

But bacteria can be bad, too. They may infiltrate our skin and other defences and get into the wrong places, causing infection. There are several possible reasons for this, and they depend on the nature of the bacteria themselves, the types of entry points bacteria have available to them, and other factors.

...when the internal defence systems are damaged, such as for patients with weaker immune systems (those undergoing chemotherapy, or those with immune system disorders), bacteria can become established in places they are not meant to be."

Mark Blaskovich, Senior Research Officer, The University of Queensland explains how our bodies fight bacteria and how we can even peacefully coexist with antibiotic-resistant bacteria on our skin, but which can be come deadly when they breach that barrier:

Note the concluding paragraphs: "But with increasing levels of international travel, when people visit countries with much higher levels of resistance in the general population and environment – places such as Greece, India, Brazil, Thailand, and China – they can be exposed to, and become silent carriers of, the deadly bacteria. It is important that, if in hospital for an infection or surgery after an overseas trip, you let your doctor know that you have been travelling.

Finally, good hand washing is one of the most effective ways to help prevent the spread of these silent assassins."


Photo: Hopefully the readily identifiable green and gold of flowering Australian wattle

You may also like...