Microbiology is a subject which deals with microbes and their related concepts.
Microbiology has come a long way since the discovery of microbes.
It has greatly contributed to mankind for various life necessities.
Its knowledge is used in health care for drug production, diagnosis, sterilization methods and cleanliness.
Further it is also used in food production, production of alcohol, in agriculture, leather industry.
Microbiology was a boon to eradicate mass destructive epidemics like rabies, small pox and many other infectious diseases.
Importance of microbiology
The present society is so dependent on it that without it there can no proper health care.
Importance of microbiology in nursing:
Use of microbiology in nursing is concerned with diagnosis. It also helps to see how the patient’s health progresses during the treatment.
- Nurses use hot water or anti-septic as a measure to sterilize the surgical knives, needles, scissors and other metals instruments to free from microbes.
- Microbiology also gives knowledge to nurses on how to handle a patient and his samples infected with communicable diseases.
- Many patients admitted in the hospital are prescribed with antibiotic as part of treatment. But not all of them will be effective to the patients. Then to test effectiveness, the patients sputum, fecal, urine or blood samples taken. This sample is examined for the type of microbe and based on the identification, the right antibiotic is given.
- Further nurse can also identify blood groups of the people by simple immune reactions.
- It also helps detect diseases like Tuberculosis by simple skin test namely the Mantoux test.
- Also diagnostic tests like Elisa, electrophoreis and radioimmuno assay also use principles of microbiology for identification of disease.
Importance of microbiology in pharmacy.
Pharmacy and pharmaceutical companies uses microbiology extensively. It is used
1) for production of medicines like antibiotics, enzymes, vaccines, insulin, vitamins, steroids etc. Some of the substance are exclusively obtained from microbial cultures.
Most anti-biotics are obtained only from microbes. Vitamin-B12 (cyanocobalamin) is obtained from culture of microbes. Similarly human insulin for diabetics is purely obtained from microbial culture by rDNA technology.
Initially diabetics were given injection of insulin obtained from animals. But due to heavy demand and also compatibility problems (as it was animal derived) there was need for some other source of human insulin.
Then rDNA technique involving E.coli bacteria was adopted to produce large amounts of human insulin which is even safe.
See article on rDNA technology for more info.
2) For sterilization of manufactured drugs. Microbes are destroyed by sterilization.
3) Also many new drugs are in search by use of microbiology. Since many antibiotics, enzymes etc were derived from microbes, still the microbes are searched for more new drugs.
Importance of medical microbiology:
In medicine microbiology is taught to let pupil understand
- types of microbial diseases; i.e. how diseases are caused by microbes. Their types like bacterial, viral, fungal etc.
- Diagnosis and treatment; Even diagnosis of the disease causing microbe is taught so as to give right drug and combat infection effectively.
- The identification of specific microbe is done by help of microbiological assays.
Importance of microbiology in agriculture:
- Natural Pesticides: Few microbes like bacteria and virus are exploited against pest attacking farm crops. Hence they are called natural pesticides. They are so specific to the pests or insects and don’t cause any harm to the plant or animals and humans.
- Natural manures: Few microbes like algae and bacteria are grown up to enhance soil fertility by fixing nitrogen and also water retaining capacity of soil. Thus they also maintain soil microbiology suitable for plant growth. Crop rotation is a technique adopted by farmers to enhance soil fertility by use of microbes in roots of leguminous plants.
- Decompose the waste: Microbes decompose the synthetic pesticide residues and other toxic material in agriculture soil and there by protect farms from toxin accumulation.
Importance of environmental microbiology:
- Microbes in environment play an important role in scavenging. This means they clear any dead and decaying matter on the surface, in air and water.
- without microbes this earth would have been full of corpses i.e. dead bodies. Microbes decay any organic substance directly and inorganic substances indirectly.
- Role of microorganisms in waste water treatment: Waste water is treated by microbes to free from all garbage. This is termed as biological oxygen demand. i.e. amount of oxygen required by microbes to decay on quintal (100kg) of waste.
Importance of soil microbiology:
Soil microbiology is very important to maintain soil structure and nature.
- The layers of soil which have microbes support growth of plants due to more water and fertility.
- Microbes in soil keep up water, the soil having microbes has higher water holding capacity.
- The humus is top layer of soil rich in microbes suitable for plant growth. This is because microbes produce natural organic fertilizers which are compatible and easy to absorb.and also fertility.
- Microbes decay the waste remnants in the soil and make it hard. All the fossil fuels are processed by microbes.
Other application of microbiology
In Industry microbiology is highly used in manufacturing and processing of drugs, alcohol, food etc.
See applications of immobilized enzymes for an idea.
Note: Also mention any other uses of microbiology if you know below in comments. Thanks.