Bacteria in Our Bodies

Callie Maupin


While it is hard to imagine, there are more bacterial cells present in and on our bodies than there are human cells (Slashinski et. al 2013). Oftentimes when we think of bacteria, we automatically think of them as being completely negative. This assumption is often not true. Bacteria help keep the body working efficiently in many different ways. Bacteria live on our bodies almost everywhere. They are in our skin, our mouths, our digestive system, and many other areas (Simon and Gorbach 1986). The entire collection of microorganismsin and on our bodies is referred to as the microflora. There are bacteria all around us, in the food we eat, water we drink, in the air we breathe, and in the soil (Moe and Rheingans 2006). The sheer numbers of bacteria surrounding us emphasizes the importance for us to understand as much as we can about bacterial functioning. Although many types are harmless or even beneficial, there are certain kinds of bacteria that can cause problems and disease. Understanding how bacteria function in different areas in our bodies can help us maximize the benefits they give us, and minimize chances of disease or infection.

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