Causes and Spread of Infection

Bacteria are a single cell micro-organism that can only be seen from under a microscope. It survives off the nutrients from its surroundings. Viruses are disease producing agents far smaller than bacteria. They are enclosed in a protein coating which makes them more difficult to destroy. The basic unit of Fungi is a hypha which is a hollow tube. The hypha threads spread out over and into the food material making a visible mesh or mycelium. Some fungi form together to create toadstools. They spread by releasing spores into the environment.

Fungi can cause diseases in humans in the form of yeasts such as ringworm, athlete’s foot and other diseases. A parasite is an organism that lives on or in a host and gets its food from or at the expense of its host. There is a large group called eukaryotes that parasites are a part of, which Fungi is too. Parasites are different from bacteria or viruses because their cells share many features with human cells.

Bacteria: Food poisoning. (Salmonella). Whooping cough. Tuberculosis. Tonsillitis. Ear infections. MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). Meningitis.

Viruses: Chicken pox. AIDS/HIV. Mumps Common cold. Herpes.

Fungi: Athlete foot. Yeast infections. Ringworm Thrush.

Parasites: Tapeworms. Schistosomiasis. Sleeping sickness (trypanosomiasis). Leishmaniasis. Lice. Fleas Lymes disease (by ticks). Scabies.

Colonisation occurs whenever any one or more species populate an area and infection is the invasion of body tissues by disease causing micro-organisms, their multiplication and the reaction of body tissues to these micro-organisms.

Systemic infection means that it is in the blood stream and spreading or has spread throughout the body. Localised infection means its only in a small area of the body, like a wound, cut or ulcer. Localised infection can become systemic if the spread.

There are lots of practices in which can be poorly done to cause infections: Poor hand hygiene and body. Not using personal protection equipment when required. Unclean environment. Unsafe Food preparation and storage. Not disposing of sharps correctly (needles, blades and others) Sneezing or coughing without a tissue or washing your hands after.


Micro-organisms need warmth, moisture, oxygen, time and nutrients to grow, the human body provides all of that. Micro-organisms like proteins and carbohydrates for their nutrients. They grow quicker if the temperature is between 4. 44°c – 60°c but they don’t die if the temperature is not this they only grow slower, Micro-organisms grow fast if they have to right conditions and can double their numbers in just 20 minutes. Not all micro-organisms need oxygen to grow only the smaller few, this means they can still multiply the same applies with moisture.

Digestive system: Entering by swallowing food or water. Respiratory system: Within the air, breathed in.

Skin: Open wounds, injections or weaken surfaces.

Common causes of infections are: Food and water. (unsafe to eat or drink) Poor hygiene. (Unwashed hands, sneezing without a tissue etc. ) Unclean environments.

Infections can be transmitted through person to person contact, touching inanimate objects with an infected person may have touch and had poor hand hygiene, within the air if someone was to cough or sneeze around you without a tissue. Digesting food or water that is infected.

An infection is more likely to occur when a person has a low immunity (Children, older people and sick people) or is on long term antibiotic treatment. Poor hygiene when treating wounds or dealing with personal care can aid the transmission of infection. Environments if unclean or dirty can increase the risk of infection.

Identify the differences between bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites? -Viruses aren’t living. They’re only made of complex proteins and nucleic acids. Bacteria, Fungi and Parasites are living organisms. – Bacteria are unicellular microorganisms. Fungi and Parasites are multicellular. – Fungi have …

This unit is to enable the learner to understand the causes of infection and common illnesses that may result as a consequence. To understand the difference between both infection and colonisation and pathogenic and non pathogenic organisms, the areas of …

1. 1 Viruses are pieces of nucleic acid wrapped in a thin coat of protein that replicate only within cells of living host. Bacteria are one cell micro-organisms with simple cellular organizations whose nucleus lacks a membrane. Parasites may be …

The difference between bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites are: Viruses are coated genetic material that invade cells and use the cell’s apparatus for reproduction. Bacteria are single celled organisms. Some classify them as a separate (fourth) kingdom on the tree …

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