Section 3

Bacteria and Humans

• Human diseases may result from toxins produced by bacteria or from the destruction of body tissues.

• A mutation in the DNA of a single bacterium can confer resistance to an antibiotic. Cells with the mutant gene have a selective advantage when the antibiotic is present. Mutant cells take over the population when the normal cells die.

• The number of certain bacterial diseases has increased because of the increase in the number of antibiotic-

Vocabulary pathology (p. 472) exotoxin (p. 472)

endotoxin (p. 472) antibiotic resistance (p. 473)

resistant bacteria, the movement of people into previously untouched areas, and global travel.

• Foodborne illnesses can be avoided by selecting, storing, cooking, and handling food properly. Frequent hand washing in hot, soapy water is also very important.

• Many species of bacteria are used to produce and process different foods, to produce industrial chemicals, to mine for minerals, to produce insecticides, and to clean up chemical and oil spills.

zoonosis (p. 474) bioremediation (p. 476)

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