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Bacteria As Sources Of Trouble To The Farmer
While the topics already considered comprise the most important factors in agricultural bacteriology, the farmer's relations to bacteria do not end here. These organisms come incidentally into his life in many ways. They are not always his aids as they are in most of the instances thus far cited.
Relation Of Bacteria To Coal
Another one of Nature's processes in which bacteria have played an important part is in the formation of coal. It is unnecessary to emphasize the importance of coal in modern civilization. Aside from its use as fuel, upon which civilization is dependent, coal is a source of an endless variety of valuable products.
Parasitic Bacteria And Their Relation To Disease
PERHAPS the most universally known fact in regard to bacteria is that they are the cause of disease. It is this fact that has made them objects of such wide interest. This is the side of the subject that first attracted attention, has been most studied, and in regard to which there has been the greatest accumulation of evidence.
Pathogenic Germs Which Are Not Strictly Parasitic
Recognising that bacteria may produce poisons, we readily see that it is not always necessary that they should be parasites in order to produce trouble. In their ordinary growth in Nature such bacteria will produce no trouble.The poisons will be produced in decaying material but will seldom be taken into the human body.
What Diseases Are Due To Bacteria?
It is, of course, an extremely important matter to determine to what extent human diseases are caused by bacteria. It is not easy, nor indeed possible, to do this to-day with accuracy. It is no easy matter to prove that any particular disease is caused by bacteria.
Variability Of Pathogenic Powers
As has already been stated, our ideas of the relation of bacteria to disease have undergone quite a change since they were first formulated, and we recognise other factors influencing disease besides the actual presence of the bacterium.
Recovery From Germ Diseases
These resisting forces are not always sufficient to drive off the invaders. The organisms may retain their hold in the body for a time and eventually break down the resistance. After this they may multiply unimpeded and take entire possession of the body.
Diseases Caused By Other Organisms Than Bacteria
Although the purpose of this work is to deal primarily with the bacterial world, it would hardly be fitting to leave the subject without some reference to diseases caused by organisms which do not belong to the group of bacteria.
Methods Of Combating Parasitic Bacteria
THE chief advantage of knowing the cause of disease is that it gives us a vantage ground from which we may hope to find means of avoiding its evils. The study of medicine in the past historyof the world has been almost purely empirical, with a very little of scientific basis.
Bacteria In Surgery
In no line of preventive medicine has bacteriology been of so much, value and so striking in its results as in surgery. Ever since surgery has been practised surgeons have had two difficulties to contend with. The first has been the shock resulting from the operation.
Prevention In Inoculation
It has long been recognised that in most cases recovery from one attack of a contagious disease renders an individual more or less immune against a second attack. It is unusual for an individual to have the same contagious disease twice.
Limits Of Preventive Medicine
With all the advance in preventive medicine we can not hope to avoid disease entirely. We are discovering that the sources of disease are on all sides of us, and so omnipresent that to avoid them completely is impossible.
Curative Medicine
Bacteriology has hitherto contributed less to curative than to preventive medicine. Nevertheless, its contributions to curative medicine have not been unimportant, and there is promise of much more in the future. It is, of course, unsafe to make predictions for the future, but the accomplishments of the last few years give much hope as to further results.
Antitoxines
In very recent times, however, our bacteriologists have been pointing out to the world certainentirely new means of assisting the body to fight its battles with bacterial diseases. As already noticed, one of the primal forces in the recovery, from some diseases, at least, is the development in the body of a substance which acts as an antidote to the bacterial poison.
Bacteria - Conclusion
It is hoped that the outline which has been given of the bacterial life of Nature may serve to give some adequate idea of these organisms and correct the erroneous impressions in regard to them which are widely prevalent. It will be seen that, as our friends, bacteria play a vastly more important part in Nature than they do as our enemies.
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