How exactly do bacteria kill us? Do they use our oxygen or vitamins, or eat our cells?

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How exactly do bacteria kill us? Do they use our oxygen or vitamins, or eat our cells?

In: Biology
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When they replicate they turn our cells into bacteria factories, which stops them from performing their correct tasks. They also produce waste products our bodies aren’t good at removing. A big problem with them is when your body tries to fight it your body temp raises which can cook your brain.

This depends on the bacteria, I’m sure, but many of them produce toxins. Toxins that kill people.

Interestingly, usually our body is actually what kills us. See, our body has to take drastic measures to defend itself sometimes. Measures like intentionally overheating. It does this because, even if its defense measures *could* kill us, surrendering to the bacteria is certain death.

Humans are made of 40-60%~ bacteria, just so you do not get the wrong impression of the little guys who make up who you are.

Some detrimental bacteria poops toxins (botulism), or attack your cells, and or cause your immune system to kill the bacteria, while doing some collateral damage to you.

Source: I brew vats of bacteria for environmental restoration from worm poop.

**Bacteria** just eat whatever is around. Maybe they eat your cells or they eat whatever randomly floats around like the food you ate. They might also eat other bacteria.

Usually, non of this harms you. Most bacteria are harmless. You have lots of friendly bacteria and more often than not they are fighting against bad bacteria that got into your body.

Now the bad bacteria might also not actually harm you directly by attacking you but they might keep eating stuff and multiply and they poop like any other living thing. Often that poop contains things that are poisonous to your cells, so wherever there are bacteria they poison your cells and they die. Or they eat to many of your cells and make little holes in your body so you start getting scratches or start bleeding just as if an animal had bit you.

**Then there are viruses.** They are different from bacteria. They aren’t really alive, they don’t eat or produce toxins. Instead, you should think of them as really tiny machines MUCH smaller than a cell. The difference between a bacteria and a virus is like the difference between a human and an ant. When a virus touches one of your cells, they can easily get inside. It’s like a fly flying into your mouth by accident. Once they are inside, they cut into your DNA and reprogram your cell to produce copies of it.

Your DNA is like a computer program written in chemicals instead of 1s and 0s that the cells execute. A cell does nothing other than executing the same DNA programme over and over again, every day until it dies. However, now the virus copy & pasted some new code into your programme that just says “print virus” and the cell now executes that code every time it does all its other jobs, too (“Print virus”, “print virus”, “print virus”, …).

Once the cell is filled with too many viruses it explodes and all the virus copies inside it get spread around it… and they will enter all the cells around the last one and start the process all over. The more cells get infected and explode, the more viruses there are so the process becomes faster every time. If enough cells get infected and die this way, it will harm your body.

Fun fact: A lot of our DNA actually doesn’t have much of a purpose and is literally just old virus code that viruses left in our ancestors.

Also note that most symptoms you experience aren’t caused by the virus directly but are a reaction of your body to the virus. You produce mucus and cough and sneeze to flush the viruses in your sinuses out. You get a fever to overheat and kill the bacteria attacking you. You get an inflammation and pus because your immune cells are attacking invading bacteria (pus is usually actually just dead white blood cells after giving their life to protect you). Sometimes, it’s your body’s immune system that kills you, just like a country destroying the world with nuclear weapons because they cannot win against the enemy.

Generally speaking, bacteria kill you the same way humans kill the environment, harmful byproducts made from its resources.

Bacteria produce waste products toxic to humans.