Bacteria, Microbiology, Organism

In general, microbes are known to cause harm to plants, animals, and humans, and so on. In particular, bacteria have caused a lot of problems in humans like tuberculosis, anthrax, cholera, etc. but not all bacteria are pathogenic (disease-causing) in nature. The particular bacteria discussed here is friendly to humans and is completely trustable.

The ruminococcus genus of bacteria falls under the class clostridia. These bacteria are round-shaped, anaerobic (do not need oxygen for survival), and are gram-positive. These bacteria are gut-friendly. More than one type of these bacteria is present in the human’s gut helping in the process of digestion.

The gut of the human which primarily includes the intestines is known as the bacterial fermentation chamber. Most of these bacteria help the human and have a symbiotic relationship.

The symbiotic relationship is a relationship between two organisms in which both of the organisms get benefitted. A suitable example of this is the lichens.

The lichen is a symbiotic association between fungi and algae. The shape of the lichen is purely based on the fungus which is dominant and the green color is due to the presence of algae. The role of the algae is to produce food and the role of the fungi is to provide water from the tree it is in. So the fungus gets food in return for the water it gives to the algae. The lichen is not harmful and it gets converted into the organic matter once dead.

A similar relationship is seen in the intestine of the human. The bacteria help the human in digestion and in return get food. We all know that the human digestive system has HCl acid accompanied by a lot of other digestive enzymes and juices. There is a fact that the stomach acid is able to digest even a bar of steel. So in that case why are there some bacteria helping us out with indigestion?

Monkey, Mammal, Animal, Gorilla
gorilla- a perfect example for an omnivore

The reason is that we humans are omnivorous. So we eat meat and vegetables. There is no problem in digesting the meat. But there is a small concern when digesting the vegetables. The problem is that the cell wall of most of the plants contains a substance called cellulose which is lacking in the animal cell walls.

The enzyme which is used to digest cellulose is known as cellulase. This enzyme is not present in the human but is present in the ruminococcus species. Hence these bacteria present in the gut provide this enzyme in return for the food we give to them. Hence there is a mutualistic behavior seen in the gut. Also, there is an added advantage.

There fecal and genital routes are the most important routes for the transmission of several infectious and deadly diseases and most of these are caused by bacteria. There is a fact that the presence of one species/genus does not allow the presence of other species/genus. So the healthy bacteria present in the gut prevent some deadly infections.

Based on these facts, I think it is appropriate to say that this is a human-friendly bacterium and can be completely trusted.