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Gurumanickam

What are the germs after?

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I'd like to know in general, for what purpose the germs infect and kill human cells? Actually what are they after? Which nutrient they want from us? Why they should kill our cells, when our survival is crucial to their survival?

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What are they after ?

 

Reproduction of their species, i.e. survival.

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By germs I mean bacteria, virus and parasites infecting humans. If survival is their primary motto for infection what they want for their survival? Is it food? If it is food that they are after, what is their food in our body?

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This thread is a stub. You can help SFN by expanding it :)

 

 

This is definitely not my field, but as far as I understand, various 'germs' have various means to extract benefits from our body. For most of them, human body is the natural environment where they develop.

 

Intestine parasites and bacteria, I guess, take advantage of already half-processed food, moisture and temperature regulation provided by human body. Most intestine bacteria are 'not evil' and will not kill the host.

 

Some other bacteria and parasites might tend to live inside human tissues (I don't know if any nasty bacteria tend to live inside a living cell?). I guess they are feeding on inter-cellular fluids - taking out energy (sugars?) and proteins. But I am purely guessing and hope that someone else will give more precise answer.

 

Viruses "live" inside human cells. They are very dependent as they don't have complete reproduction means. For their reproduction viruses must use our cell infrastructure and energy.

 

You might also read more about mitochondria. They live inside human cell and are very welcome there.

 

Parasites often can be simpler organisms than non-parasites as they don't need to have all organs (systems) developed - instead they are using their host infrastructure. This is one biological (or evolutionary) benefit of being a parasite, I guess. In a way, living inside host is an easier way to live. Host body being a simpler (more steady) environment.

 

 

You asked how come that germs might kill their host. This happens, sure... My view is that such 'germs' often cannot be called a perfect fit. Note that beings are not always perfect fit - just good enough fit. Many animals (locust, humans...), not only germs, can overcrowd their environment causing harm to themselves. I hope some other poster will expand on it.

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I'd like to know in general, for what purpose the germs infect and kill human cells? Actually what are they after? Which nutrient they want from us? Why they should kill our cells, when our survival is crucial to their survival?

 

 

Our survival is only an issue if the "germs" can't get to other hosts before we die. Some human diseases that rely on human-human contact for transmission were very nasty when they first appeared in humans (e.g syphilis), and mutated to being less so, presumably for this very reason. If they rely on some other vector, or can survive outside a host, there is less selection pressure to become less damaging.

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.... Why they should kill our cells, when our survival is crucial to their survival?

It depends what strategy favours a particular species' reproductive future, not a particular individual's future of that species. Evolution is about creating the next generation and, so, evolving features and strategies that facilitate that. This all happens by genetic mutation and chance circumstances that may favour them, or not. .

Edited by StringJunky

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Food and living space.

Their food is your body.

 

Their food is also our food. And sometimes they are our food.

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Well, Viruses don't really need "Food" they are just seeking to reproduce and they need our Ribosomes to do it. As for Bacteria Amino acids, Sugars, anything that you need to survive they kill your cells to feed themselves which have a bunch of it within them.

Edited by Vmedvil

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