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Good Bacteria
Human and Animal Stomachs
E.coli bacteria live in the intestines of animals and people, helping them digest food as well as producing vitamins.
Other animals including cows, goats, deer, and giraffes depend even more than humans on bacteria to digest their food.
Billions of them live in the animals’ rumens(a special type of stomach) where they break down grass and hay into
nutrients the animal can absorb into its bloodstream. A cow’s rumen contains all kinds of eubacteria, including
spirochetes and rod-shaped bacteria.
Water Treatment Plant
Use bacteria to purify water. The bacteria break down community sewage.
Doctor’s Office
Use bacteria in medicines, such as antibiotics, to help save lives.
Oil Spill in the Ocean
One type of bacteria eats oil and is used to help clean up oil spills. The bacteria break down harmful materials and
Roots of a Peanut Plant
Plants depend on bacteria to help them absorb nutrients into their roots. Plants need nitrogen to build protein, but
In the soil and in the plants roots bacteria help turn atmospheric nitrogen into protein.
Example: rhizobia bacteria live in the roots of peanuts. The rhizobia bacteria change the nitrogen gas into compounds
of nitrogen that the plants then convert into proteins.
Food Processing Plant
The cocci bacteria are used in foods such as pickles and sauerkraut. The bacteria produce an acid that gives the food a
distinctive flavor and helps preserves it.
On farms bacteria breaks down animal wastes.
Dairy processing plant
Bacteria are also used in many commercial and industrial applications. Bacteria are used all the time in the food
industry. Yogurt wouldn’t be tangy without the help of a bacterium called Lactobacillus acidophilus. Yogurt is made
of milk. The lactobacilli devour the milk, rich in a type of sugar called lactose, and in the process release acid that
makes the yogurt sour. The acid in the yogurt can also help preserve it.
Home Heating Fuel
Bacteria is produced by methane gas which is created deep within the earth by ancient organisms.
Bacteria break down garbage.
Bad Bacteria
Bacteria can enter the body through the intestines. This is caused by eating or drinking contaminated food or liquids.
Cholera is a disease caused by bacteria in unsanitary drinking water.
Food Poisoning
Food poisoning is brought on by eating food contaminated with bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli.
Bacteria that Enters the Body Through the Lungs
Tuberculosis and pneumonia are caused by breathing in airborne bacteria.
Wound Punctures
Bacteria can also get inside the body from puncture wounds such as tetanus or insect or animal bites and cause a variety
of diseases.
Bubonic Plague
Rod-shaped bacterium called Yersinia pestis, the bubonic plague or the Black Death (named for the color of the
person’s face after death). During the 14th century, this tiny organism killed millions of people and over half the
population of Europe. It was transmitted by flea bites and was spread across the continent by flea-carrying animals
such as rice and rats. The Bubonic Plague still occurs but is now treatable with antibiotics.
Name: _____________________________
Date: ______________________
Bad Bacteria Questions
How is Cholera caused by bacteria?
How is food poisoning caused by bacteria?
Bacteria that enter the body through the lungs can cause what two illnesses? _________________ and
How can bacteria infect wound punctures?
What is the Bubonic Plague?
How many people did it kill in the 14th century?
Even though the Bubonic Plague still occurs today, why doesn’t it kill as many people?