What are aerobic bacteria?

Aerobic bacteria require oxygen to live and grow.

Aerobic bacteria are tiny, single-celled creatures that are a type of germ. As these bacteria need oxygen to live and grow, this is the determining factor for these tiny organisms. In contrast, bacteria that do not need, or are even harmed by, oxygen are called anaerobic bacteria.

Cellular respiration is the metabolic process by which aerobic bacteria exchange gases with the environment. This oxygen intake is vital for digestion and the other energy-consuming process that takes place within the bacteria. All animals, including humans, also require the constant presence of oxygen, so humans and these bacteria share the same habitats. Aerobic bacteria are so abundant that they are, in fact, the most numerous and widely distributed organisms on the planet. Where there is adequate oxygen and some form of matter to serve as a food source, aerobic bacteria are likely to be present.

Aerobica bacteria are the most widely distributed organisms on the planet.

A notorious form of aerobic bacteria is Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the organism responsible for tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is the condition that occurs when one or more Mycobacterium tuberculosis is breathed in and successfully begins to multiply within the host’s body, particularly in the lungs. Because the TB bacterium is aerobic, an oxygen-lover, the lungs of an individual with a limited immune system provide a hospitable habitat. Most healthy people have an immune system that prevents these aerobic bacteria from taking up residence and causing infections.

Tuberculosis, an aerobic bacterium, tends to develop in the oxygen-rich environment of the lungs.

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Not all bacteria are harmful. In fact, many species of bacteria, both aerobic and anaerobic, can actually promote health and prevent disease. These beneficial bacteria can be seen as a personal army defending their host from more pathogenic organisms. Bacteria are also responsible for the constant breakdown of waste, which returns nutrients to the soil and completes the food chain. In this role, bacteria are classified as decomposers and their presence in the soil is vital for the health of the ecosystem.

Many species of bacteria, both aerobic and anaerobic, can promote health and prevent disease.

Aerobic bacteria reproduce by a process called binary fission, which means a person can duplicate and split into two identical individuals. It’s this ability to reproduce quickly without having to look for a suitable mate that makes bacteria responsible for so many terrible infections. A single tiny bacterium can enter a wound or be inhaled and, if conditions are right, reach the millions within hours. In fact, it is the waste generated by the bacteria that acts like a poison and damages the tissues of the infected person or animal, not the bacteria themselves.

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