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  • Writer's pictureProject STEMinist


There are 6 categories of microbes, listed below.

1. Bacteria

  • Simple, one-celled organisms that multiply rapidly and are classified by their shape and arrangement

  • Some common diseases caused by bacteria include strep throat, pneumonia, TB, C-diff, syphilis, and cholera

2. Protozoa

  • One-celled, animal-like organisms that may have flagella for movement and that are found in decayed matter and contaminated water, bird feces, and insect bites

  • Some are pathogenic

  • Some common diseases caused by protozoa include malaria and E. coli

3. Fungi

  • Simple, plant-like organisms that live on dead organic matter and can be pathogenic

  • Examples of fungal diseases include ringworm, athlete’s foot, and thrush

  • Antibiotics don’t kill fungi, so treatment includes anti-fungal medications

4. Rickettsiae

  • Parasitic microorganisms that cannot live outside the cells of another living organism

  • Commonly found in fleas, lice, ticks, and mites and are transmitted to humans by the bites of insects

  • Can cause diseases such as typhus fever and Rocky Mountain spotted fever

  • Antibiotics are effective against many different rickettsiae

5. Viruses

  • The smallest microorganisms, so an electron microscope is required to see them

  • Must be inside another living cell to reproduce

  • Have a nucleic acid with a protein coat

  • Spread by blood and body secretions, and they cause many diseases and are very difficult to kill

  • The incubation period for viruses varies

  • Examples include the common cold, rhinovirus, mumps, varicella, influenza, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, epstein-barr, HPV, herpes, measles, enterovirus, norovirus, coronavirus, and rabies

  • Viruses infecting animals can mutate to infect humans such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), West Nile Virus (WNV), Monkeypox, Ebola, and Influenza (H5N1; Avian flu)

6. Helminths

  • Multicellular parasitic organisms called worms or flukes

  • Transmitted when humans eat contaminated food or through bites. Examples include hookworms, trichinosis, pinworm, and tapeworm

BY: Richa Kuklani




  • s_of_Microorganisms

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