What are bacteria?

Bacteria are single-celled microbes that contain genetic material called DNA. Some bacteria contain genetic material in plasmid that allow the microbe to have antibioticresistance. [1]

Is there good and bad bacteria?

Bacteria are everywhere! There are good bacteria in you that helps your body function properly, and they can even help your body fight pathogens. However, there are also bad bacteria that can cause many different diseases to develop inside your body. [2]

It is important to keep a good balance of bacteria in your body so that you can stay healthy.

How is bacteria transmitted?

Bacteria can have airborne, direct contact, indirect contact, fecal-oral, and vector-borne transmission. Bacteria do not need a host cell to survive and duplicate, so they can be found in many different places. [4]

How long do bacteria survive outside the body?

Bacteria viability depends on the surface it is on but can last anywhere from minutes to days. Bacteria survive longer on porous surfaces than on non-porous surfaces. [3]

How can I prevent the spread of bacteria?

1. Wash your hands regularly.
2. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze.
3. Keep your home and work environment clean.
4. Stay home if you are experiencing symptoms of any illness.
5. Don’t share things that come in contact with respiratory germs.
6. Use a face mask.
[3] and [5]

Which environments do bacteria like?

Bacteria can be found in all different types of environments, but they survive best in warm, moist, neutral surroundings. [6]

How is bacteria relevant to me?

Because bacteria are found everywhere and can be good and bad, it is important to know the positive effects of good bacteria and the negative effects of bad bacteria. It is very important to know what you can do to stop the spread of harmful bacteria so that you can help prevent the spread of diseases.


What is a virus?

A virus is an agent that contains genetic material, DNA/RNA, that is covered with proteins. These can be considered non-living things because they depend on a host in order for them to reproduce and survive. [22]

How do viruses work?

Once they attach to a host cell, viruses insert their genetic material and change the “instructions” of the metabolic processes of the cell. This helps the virus replicate. [17]

How is a virus transmitted?

Viruses are spread from person to person, mainly through bodily fluids. There are different types of transmissions: direct contact, contaminated surface, droplet contact, airborne, fecal, and vector-borne (animal carrier) [17].

What is a vaccine?

A vaccine contains biological agents similar to the pathogen to protect the person being vaccinated.

How can I prevent the spread of viruses?

Wash your hands thoroughly and often, stay away from crowded spaces, be aware of any symptoms, and avoid touching your face, specifically your nose, mouth, and eyes.

Which environments can viruses survive?

Depending on the type, a virus lifespan can last up to a few hours outside of the host cell; however, they cannot replicate without a host cell. [19]

How are viruses relevant to me?

Viruses can cause a disease, such as infections. The symptoms that we experience, such as inflammatory reactions, is our body/immune system trying to fight this invasive agent. [24]

Spores (Mold)

What is a spore?

A spore is a type of microorganism capable of reproducing asexually, meaning without another reproductive cell. Spores are produced by fungi (i.e. mold), bacteria, other plants (moss, ferns). [16]

Are spores harmful to humans?

Constant exposure to large amounts of spores can cause health issues, such as allergic reactions or respiratory fungal infections. [15]

How are spores transmitted?

Spores travel through dispersion. Because they are lighter than plant seeds, they are released by fungi into the air and carried by the wind.

How can we prevent spores (i.e. mold)?

● Control humidity
● Clean and dry enclosures
● Check on any source of moisture
● Dry any wet surface such as carpet, wood, and tile


What is immunology?

Immunology is the study of the immune system. The immune system is the part of the body responsible for defending you against pathogens and other harmful organisms. [7]

Why is immunology important?

Understanding the immune system is crucial to the progression of understanding and treating health-related issues in addition to advancing modern medicine. [8]

What is the human immune response?

The human immune response is separated into two different systems: innate and adaptive. The innate immune system is the non-specific first line of defense and includes cells such as natural killer cells, neutrophils, dendritic cells, basophils, and eosinophils. The second line of defense is the adaptive immune system and is specific to the pathogen it is attacking. The adaptive immune system includes T and B lymphocytes. [9]

Improving My Immune System

How can I improve my immune system?

● Have a healthy diet
● Exercise regularly
● Stay hydrated
● Get sufficient sleep
● Reduce stress
● Wash your hands

[10] and [11]

What are symptoms of a weakened immune system?

● Frequently sick and experiencing infections
● Exhaustion
● Organ inflammation and infection
● Digestive issues such as diarrhea, gas, and constipation
● Delayed growth
● Slow wound healing

[12] and [13]

Who is most susceptible to diseases caused by bacteria and viruses?

Susceptibility to a disease caused by a virus or bacteria is dependent on a variety of factors. Diseases target different groups of people, and this relies heavily on the human condition. Factors such as age, gender, health conditions, and immune system contribute to one’s susceptibility. [14]

Benefits of UV Light

How does UV light kill microorganisms?

Inactivation of the microorganisms occurs after UV light irradiation that causes photochemical changes that alter the DNA of the pathogens taking away its ability to replicate. [21]

What are wavelengths?

Wavelengths are waves or forms in the electromagnetic (EM) radiation spectrum that have different characteristics depending on the type of energy that travels. A higher energy radiation will have a shorter wavelength; therefore, a longer wavelength will have less energy. Types of EM include: Radio, microwave, infrared, visible light, UV, xray, gamma ray.

What is the UV spectrum?

The UV spectrum is between the visible light and x-rays spectrum. There are four types of ultraviolet light:

● UV-A (315-400nm)
● UV-B (280-315nm)
● UV-C (200-280 nm)
● Vacuum (100-200nm); these wavelengths travel only in a vacuum, meaning that they are blocked by air.

What are the main sources of UV radiation?

The sun is the main source of UV light, and a suntan is the result of exposure to UV-B rays. Lower UV-B and UV-C rays are absorbed by the ozone layer. However, UV-A and higher wavelengths of UV-B penetrate the skin. Man-made examples of UV sources are mercury vapor lamps, fluorescent light sources, xenon lamps, and LEDs. It is possible to create these UV sources at low wavelengths so that UV-C irradiation can be performed.

[20] and [21]

What is a UV LED?

LED stands for light-emitting diode. LEDs light up when an electrical current passes through the electrodes. Specifically, UV LEDs emit light in the ultraviolet spectrum.

How long does it take to kill pathogens with UV light?

The time it takes to inactivate pathogens depends on the UV wavelength, intensity of the light, and the distance from the light source. Pathogen inactivation can occur in just a few seconds when the light intensity is high and the object is close to the light source.



1] Society, M. (n.d.). Bacteria: What is microbiology? Retrieved July 29, 2020, from
[2] Yttri, J. (2017, March 28). Bacteria: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Retrieved July 29,
2020, from
[3] How long do bacteria and viruses live outside the body? (n.d.). Retrieved July 29, 2020, from
[4] Duda, K., RN. (2020, April 02). How Germs Are Transmitted. Retrieved July 29, 2020, from
[5] Germs: Prevent Their Spread. (2006, October). Retrieved July 29, 2020, from
[6] Lesson 1e – What conditions encourage bacteria to grow? (n.d.). Retrieved July 29, 2020,
[7] The Immune System. (n.d.). Retrieved July 29, 2020, from
[8] What is immunology? (n.d.). Retrieved July 29, 2020, from
[9] The Innate vs. Adaptive Immune Response. (n.d.). Retrieved July 29, 2020, from
[10] How to boost your immune system. (2014, September). Retrieved July 29, 2020, from
[11] McCallum, K. (2020, March 23). 5 Ways to Boost Your Immune System. Retrieved July 29,
2020, from
[12] Primary immunodeficiency. (2020, January 30). Retrieved July 29, 2020, from
[13] Hasan, N., DO. (2020, March 23). 6 Signs You Have a Weakened Immune System – Penn
Medicine. Retrieved July 29, 2020, from
[14] Who is more at risk of severe illness? What about other risks? (2010, February 24).
Retrieved July 29, 2020, from
[15] CDC – Mold – General Information – Basic Facts. (2019, December 16). Retrieved July 29,
2020, from
[16] The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. (2019, February 07). Spore. Retrieved July 29,
2020, from
[17] Electromagnetic Spectrum – Introduction. (n.d.). Retrieved July 29, 2020, from
[18] Basics of Vaccines. (2012, March 14). Retrieved July 29, 2020, from
[19]James M. Steckelberg, M. (2020, February 05). Can you catch the flu or a cold from a
commonly used object? Retrieved July 29, 2020, from
[20] Lucas, J. (2017, September 15). What Is Ultraviolet Light? Retrieved July 29, 2020, from
[21] PanelMuhammadUmaraFelicityRoddickbLinhuaFanb, A., MuhammadUmara, A,
FelicityRoddickb, B, LinhuaFanb, . . . AbstractUltraviolet (UV) irradiation has proven an effective
tool for inactivating microorganisms in water. There is. (2019, January 24). Moving from the
traditional paradigm of pathogen inactivation to controlling antibiotic resistance in water – Role of
ultraviolet irradiation. Retrieved July 29, 2020, from
[22] Staff, S. (n.d.). What Is a Virus? Retrieved July 29, 2020, from
[23] UV Radiation. (2020, June 08). Retrieved July 29, 2020, from
[24] Arden, K. (2020, June 06). How do viruses make us ill? Retrieved July 29, 2020, from
[25] Ultraviolet, A. (n.d.). Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved July 29, 2020, from