In the scientific field there is a great variety of disciplines that help man to control and discover new organisms and diseases. One of these fields is microbiology , a science that has the ability to study the different types of bacteria , fungi , protists and parasites that can be found within a certain ecosystem in order to establish the type of relationship that exists between them.
What is microbiology?
Microbiology is an area of science whose main function is the study of the different types of microorganisms capable of producing different types of diseases and problems in humans.
- Characteristics of microbiology
- What do you study
- Applications of microbiology
Characteristics of microbiology
The main characteristics of microbiology are mentioned below:
- Microbiology studies the structure , function, and classification of organisms .
- It is a science that is responsible for analyzing the different types of microbes that exist.
- It is a scientific field that is still growing .
- It is closely related to pathology , immunology, and epidemiology .
- It has a wide variety of disciplines to which it can be applied.
- It has the ability to contribute to biological , genetic and biochemical research .
The origin of science as such can be found in the invention of the microscope and in Anton Van Leeuwenhoek , who was the first scientist to describe microbes, which he initially called animalculi.
As we mentioned earlier, the history of microbiology goes hand in hand with its origin, the microscope. In the nineteenth century, the little knowledge that was had of this branch of science began to advance significantly thanks to the intervention of Louis Pasteur , who in fact is considered the father of modern microbiology and Robert Koch who discovered the bacillus causing tuberculosis.
For a time, microbiology was seen as a descriptive science that could be applied and that was also closely related to the field of medicine , later it was also developed in the chemical area . The history of this science is related to important scientists but still, there are not many outstanding events.
What do you study
The microbiology is a branch of science that is responsible for studying the different types of microorganisms either prokaryotes or eukaryotes. Study, analyze and make a description of the different types of microorganisms that exist on the planet, the way they work and the way they live and develop . It also focuses on the way in which they are distributed and analyzes in depth if these microorganisms can become sources of infection of diseases and then search and find the necessary ways to eliminate them .
Microbiology is a very extensive science and for this reason it is divided into several branches of study. These branches are explained below.
- Bacteriology : this branch of microbiology is responsible for carrying out different types of studies on bacteria . It carries out analyzes and evaluations on marine, sanitary, industrial, agricultural and systematic bacteriology. Its main focus is directed towards bacteria and the characteristics they possess, as well as the diseases that they can produce.
- Mycology : focuses on studying fungi and their different types, such as mold and yeast . These fungi can be found in different types of places and environments and can be beneficial or harmful to humans.
- Proto zoology : it is a fairly new branch and is responsible for carrying out studies on the different taxonomies . It is also dedicated to analyzing protozoa and is a branch of great importance in the field of medicine since many organisms studied through it are associated with diseases of humans and animals.
- Phycology : studies the different multicellular organisms but mainly focuses on the study of algae, an important part of the food chain of many marine animals.
- Parasitology : this is a fairly broad field of microbiology and is mainly responsible for studying and analyzing microbes which are grouped into protozoa, helminths and arthropods . It is the branch that is responsible for analyzing the organisms that have the capacity to produce diseases.
- Immunology : is in charge of studying the immune system and looks for new ways to understand how it works, since the body can sometimes become ill as a result of the same system. Thanks to these areas, advances and progress have been made and progress in the scientific and medical field that have helped eradicate and cure many types of diseases.
- Virology : basically studies viruses , acellular beings that need a host to develop and cause diseases. Important aspects such as biochemistry , molecular biology and the study of the evolution of pathogensare used in virology.
- Nematology : studies multicellular nematodes that are also more commonly known as roundworms and that can be found in dirt, mud, and sand. Thanks to microbiology, its classification and function have been established.
There are several types of microbiology, among them we mention the following:
- Sanitary microbiology : conducts studies on organisms that can contaminate food producing different types of diseases.
- Veterinary microbiology : studies microorganisms that cause health problems in animals.
- Phytopathology : studies mainly protist organisms , viruses, fungi and bacteria that can cause problems and diseases in plants.
- Medical microbiology : performs analysis and research on microorganisms that can cause pathologies as well as possible treatments and means of transmission.
- Microbial Physiology – Conducts studies on the waymicrobe cells function .
- Microbial Genetics : is responsible for conducting analysis on the way in which the genes of microbes are organized.
- Industrial microbiology : it is also known as microbial biotechnology and is responsible for producing different types of microbes necessary for the production of some types of food.
- Clinical microbiology : it is the study of microorganisms that cause different types of diseases through their identification. It also focuses on studying their sensitivity to antibiotics and antifungals.
- Agricultural microbiology : studies the different types of microorganisms that can be found in the soil, mainly fungi and bacteria that can be used in a positive way in crops.
Applications of microbiology
Microbiology can be applied in different areas, for example, in the medical area to control and prevent agents that cause diseases, in waters and drains to degrade solid materials to simpler compounds, in the food industry to be able to treat processes in which they are It gives the consumption of animal products and in industry, mainly applied to biotechnology and the use of biological systems in industrial processes .
It is used in the manufacture of different types of medicines , alcoholic beverages and in agricultural activity as a means of prevention , diagnosis and treatment to control those diseases that cause damage to plants and domestic animals.
Microbiology is a science of great importance not only for the field of health and medicine in which its use is essential to be able to study and analyze the different pathogenic microorganisms that cause various types of diseases that affect humans. It is thanks to this science that infectious diseases can be studied to later determine the best type of treatment to cure the disease.
It is also vital in the field of energy resources because thanks to it the activity of some microorganisms can be used to improve the activity of producing gas for fuel , better known as biogas . In addition, they can also help reduce the risk caused by oil spills.
In the field of agriculture it plays a fundamental role since it is through microbiology that the pathogens that affect and damage crops are detected, making economic losses for this reason less and can even be avoided.
Some examples of diseases that can be discovered thanks to microbiology are:
- Simple herpes
- Human immunodeficiency virus
- Escherichia coli