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Microbes

A microscopic living organism. Examples include bacteria, protozoa, and some fungi and parasites. Viruses are also called microbes.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)

Colorized image of bacteria from a microscope. Click to enlarge

Colorized image of bacteria through a microscope National Institutes of Health

About Microbes

Microbes are tiny forms of life that surround us — too small to be seen by the naked eye. They are found in water, in the soil, and in the air.

The human body is also home to millions of these microbes, also called microorganisms. Some microbes make us sick, others are important for our health.

The most common are bacteria, viruses and fungi. There are also microbes from the group of protozoa.... Read more about the Microbes

Terms to know

Bacteria
A large group of single-cell microorganisms. Some cause infections and disease in animals and humans. The singular of bacteria is bacterium.
Fungus
A plant-like organism that does not make chlorophyll. Mushrooms, yeasts, and molds are examples. The plural is fungi.
Microbiome
The collection of all the microorganisms and viruses that live in a given environment, including the human body or part of the body, such as the digestive system.
Microscopy
The use of instrumentation and techniques for visualizing material and details that cannot be seen by the unaided eye. It is usually done by enlarging images with lenses that magnify the image.
Protozoa
Protozoa are single-cell organisms, such as ameba, and are different from bacteria, which are not members of the animal kingdom. Some protozoa can be seen without a microscope.
Viruses
In medicine, a very simple microorganism that infects cells and may cause disease. Because viruses can multiply only inside infected cells, they are not considered to be alive.

Terms to know

Bacteria
A large group of single-cell microorganisms. Some cause infections and disease in animals and humans. The sin...
Fungus
A plant-like organism that does not make chlorophyll. Mushrooms, yeasts, and molds are examples. The plural i...
Microbiome
The collection of all the microorganisms and viruses that live in a given environment, including the human bo...
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