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Bathroom bacteria: symbiosis and war

These simple organisms are practically found everywhere and some of them can even withstand extreme conditions such as pressure, temperature, dryness, radiation, etc. So you know with what we are dealing with here – prime survivours. Bacteria are prokaryotic microorganisms which, throughout evolution, have learn to adapt to almost any environment on Earth. Now, there is no need for germophobia (or mysophobia), what you cannot see doesn’t necessarily have to hurt you, because these creatures simply cannot be evaded, due to the fact that we couldn’t even live without them. One of the places where they thrive is actually one of the more intimate rooms we like and have to visit – the bathroom.

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General information about bacteria

There ae typically 40 million bacterial cells in a gram of soil and a million in a millilitre of fresh water. They are a higher form of life, no matter how small and, naturally, they too require an energy source, nitrogen and carbon mainly, to fill their nutritional needs. What is curious is that most of them are tolerant to oxygen, so if there is a presence, or an absence of it, it doesn’t have an impact on their well-being. Just like most creatures on this planet, bacterial cells consist of water (around 80% of its bodyweight is water), meaning that moisture is essential for them to grow and develop, although, as mentioned before, some species are able to survive for months in arid areas. Also, bacteria grow best in darkness, just like plants, because UV light is lethal to them, too, no matter if it’s produced naturally or artificially. So, with all these facts in mind, it’s clear why bathrooms can be considered as one of the best suitable habitats for their kind – it’s moist, seldom lit and full of ingredients for their diet.

Impact on health

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Our bodies are full of microscopic flora. They regulate some of the bodily functions and help us keep our health, so not all bacteria are bad. We live in symbiosis together. Probiotics have recently been used in preventing and treating gastrointestinal disorders like diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome and inflammations, because such bacteria displaces potential pathogens in the intestines, reduce the growth of negative bacteria, lower the pH in the colon and strengthen the immunity system to fight off viruses and diseases. However, bathrooms can be a breeding ground for those pathogens and negative bacteria, because lack of cleanliness can trigger a spread od sickness and disease. Salmonella is an example of unwanted guests which, in one out of five cases, can usually be found within the proximity to toilets. This brings many questions to mind – Do some disinfectants even work? Are public bathrooms clean enough? What can I do to make sure my home is safe from such germs? If you cannot find the answers yourself, at least consult yourself with experts from your local Science Institute, or simply don’t stop digging and asking for additional information online until you find the solution to your case.

Bacteria to watch out for

Bathroom bacteria: symbiosis and war by

Besides Salmonella, which usually occurs when people do not close their toilet lid before flushing and not washing their hands properly after the visit, other bacteria you should watch out for are E-coli, Campylobacter and Streptococcus.  E-coli, for instance, is a very common bacteria normally found in feces and intestinal tracts of humans and animals alike. If you ever get poisoned and infected by it, it can induce stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea and mild fevers for about a week until your body flushes out the excess amount. Campylobacter can be transferred if an infected person has left a trace of it on a surface, besides petting kittens and puppies, or eating contaminated food, so make sure to scrub your bathroom good to avoid such unpleasantries like abdominal pain, nausea, headaches and other mentioned symptoms similar to E-coli, if your infected guest visited your loo. Streptococcus, too, is a common infection, but it can occasionally lead to more serious health issues like kidney disease and rheumatic fever. If this bacteria is found in the bathroom, make sure to follow a proper hygiene regime by thoroughly washing hands, regularly changing hand towels, using liquid soaps rather than bars, etc.

You shouldn’t have to worry much about potential threats that negative bacteria can cause, but, nevertheless, it’s always better to prevent a disease, rather than to treat it. Call Sydney emergency plumbing if you have any problems with your drains and keep scrubbing that bathroom until it’s spotless, but remember, you cannot wipe out bacteria, especially since without them we wouldn’t even be alive.

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