Pathogens are organisms capable of causing disease and require effective disinfection using conventional methods like UV sanitizers. The term is used interchangeably with microbe, virus, and bacteria, but there are differences. Viruses and bacteria are simply types of pathogens.
The human body has several microbes and bacteria, some of which are good for digestive health and other activities. Microbes only become an issue if they weaken the immune system, cause disease, or enter sterile parts of the body.
Types of Pathogens
There are four main types of pathogens: viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. When pathogens enter the human body, all they need to survive is a host. Some set up in the body and manage to avoid attacks from the immune system. They can use resources from the immune system to multiply and spread to other areas. Here’s an overview of the four pathogens:
A virus is a type of pathogen made up of genetic code like DNA or RNA and a protein coating. When viruses enter a host cell, they use materials in their surroundings to replicate and produce more viruses.
After the replication cycle ends, the viruses are released from the host cell to spread and infect other cells. This process can damage or destroy the host’s cells. Some viruses also stay dormant for a specific period before the next replication cycle. The host may appear to have recovered during this phase but then gets sick again.
Pathogens can cause a wide range of diseases, including the common cold, flu, meningitis, warts, and measles. Other viral infections include oral and genital herpes, chickenpox, yellow fever hepatitis (A, B, C, D, E), HIV/AIDS, and more.
There are billions of bacteria in all shapes and features. These microorganisms feature a single cell, and not all are pathogenic (disease-causing). Some are good for the body and needed for normal function and balance in processes like digestion.
Bacteria can live anywhere, including inside and outside the body. Harmless bacteria can become pathogenic if a viral infection compromises your immune system. Antibiotics can treat most bacterial infections, but some strains are resistant to specific formulas.
Prevalent bacterial infections include strep throat, urinary tract infection (UTI), bacterial gastroenteritis, Lyme disease, gonorrhea, bacterial meningitis, tuberculosis, and cellulitis. Note that antibiotics cannot treat viral infections.
Like bacteria, fungi exist in the millions and can live everywhere, including indoors, outdoors, and on human skin. Not all fungi are pathogenic. Only a few are known to cause infections, and this happens when the fungi overgrow.
The fungus cell features a nucleus and other components covered by a membrane and cell wall. This extra protection can make fungi harder to kill. Some strains of fungi, such as Candida Auris, are dangerous, but most infections can be treated using antifungal drugs.
Vaginal yeast infections are the most widespread fungal infections. Others include thrush, ringworm, athlete’s foot, onychomycosis (fungal nail infection), jock itch, and more. Fungal overgrowth can be dangerous and weakens the immune system.
Parasitic infections in humans come from protozoa, helminths, and ectoparasites. They also spread through various ways, including contaminated food, water, blood, soil, insect bites, and sexual contact.
Examples of diseases caused by parasites include malaria, giardiasis, trichomoniasis, toxoplasmosis, intestinal worms, pubic lice, and more. You can avoid most parasites by practicing good hygiene and hand-washing.
UV Sanitizer Disinfection
Businesses, schools, and offices can prevent pathogenic infection through regular disinfection. Practices like hand washing, vaccination, proper meal preparation, and safe sex are also vital in preventing infections. You could also leverage the energy of UV sanitizer light from companies like Violet Defense to provide effective, convenient, and autonomous disinfection.