Eli5: What happens when germs die? Do they essentially disappear?



Eli5: What happens when germs die? Do they essentially disappear?

In: Biology

They break up into their constituent parts just like everything else, and since life is made of materials commonly used by living things, it generally doesn’t take long for some other living thing to scoop up and make use of those parts for itself.

Like any other dead thing, they start falling apart and then something eats them.

Germs and cells, by extension, are made up of proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates. When they die (“lyse”), they essentially fall apart, sort of like a very tiny, wet piñata. Their internals flow out all over the place, to be absorbed/eaten by anything else that passes by.

to add to the other replies…your body will also respond to dead germs or parts of them recognized as foreign and illicit an immune response to them, but the dead germs or fragments won’t cause the disease the normally would when they were still active or alive. That’s how some vaccines work – they introduce these parts or dead or living but inactivated (= scientists took away their ability to infect your cells and reproduce/replicate) germs or viruses to your immune system. If you then get infected with the actual pathogen (disease causing organism. That greek word roughly translates to “suffering producer”), your immune system already knows it’s something foreign and that it should fight it right away before it can spread and cause a lot of trouble in your body.

They leave a corpse like everything else, its either going to be eaten by some other germ or natural forces will break down its body to chemistry basics.

A large portion of your poop is in fact dead cells from your body, its the decaying red blood cells that make it brown.