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c h a p t e r

25

c h a p t e r 25 T H E H U M A N
c h a p t e r 25 T H E H U M A N

T H E

H U M A N

M I C R O B I O M E

Ninety percent of the cells in the human body are bacterial, fungal, or other wise nonhuman.

For decades, bacteria have been viewed as harbingers of disease, something to be avoided or eradicated. In actuality, ever y healthy adult houses more than 100 trillion microorganisms. In other words, microbes outnumber human cells by 10 to 1. This community of microbes—known as the human microbiome—is essential for human life, so much so that many experts say it should be considered an organ system in its own right. Although scientists have long been aware that bacteria live on the human body, many of these microbes resist being cultured and grown in a laborator y. It wasn’t until the advent of sophisticated DNA sequencing technology, and the subsequent completion of the Human Microbiome Project, that scientists caught a glimpse of this unseen world. (See “Life lesson: The Human Microbiome Project” on the next page.)

c h a p t e r 25 T H E H U M A N

The individual microorganisms found within the microbiome work constantly on our behalf: They digest food, synthesize vitamins, and form a barricade against disease-causing bacteria. Recent research suggests that bacteria even alter brain chemistr y, which could affect mood and behavior. Furthermore, when the composition of the microbiome is disrupted, such as by an excess of a specific bacteria or, more often, through the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics, disease can result. In fact, imbalances in the microbiome are being linked to such disorders as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, multiple

sclerosis, and even obesity. This view of the body as a vast, changeable ecosystem is gradually altering how medicine is practiced. Instead of simply combating bacteria, practitioners are recognizing the need to cultivate and nurture the bacterial communities within our bodies.

c h a p t e r 25 T H E H U M A N

FAST FACT

If gathered together, the microorganisms that inhabit the human body would occupy a space about the size of the liver and weigh approximately 3 pounds.

Copyright © 2014. F. A. Davis. Online Chapter to Accompany Thompson, Understanding Anatomy & Physiolog y.

2

Continuity

2 Continuity L i f e l e s s o n : T h e

L i f e l e s s o n : T h e Hu m a n M i c r o b i o m e Pr o j e c t

After successful completion of the Human Genome Projec t, the National Institutes of Health decided to use DNA sequencing technology to study the microbial population of healthy adults. So, for 5 years, scientists followed 242 healthy adults, periodically sampling bac teria from 15 or more sites on the subjec ts’ bodies, including their mouths, nasal passages, skin, stool, and, in women, vaginas. The study, known as the Human Microbiome Projec t, was completed in 2012, and scientists are still coming to terms with the results. Specifically, the study revealed the existence of a vast, organized system of microbes within healthy adults. This system, known as a microbiome, consists of more than 100 trillion microscopic life -forms. Most appear to be bac teria, although viruses and even fungi are included. The diversity of bac teria within the microbiome is staggering; thus far, more than 10,000 species have been identified, and scientists are still analyzing microorganisms that have never before been successfully cultured or identified. One surprising finding was that nearly ever yone carried bac teria known to cause disease. However, instead of causing illness, they coexisted peacefully with the rest of the microbiome, prompting scientists to rethink current concepts of how disease occurs. What is clear is that ever y person’s body contains numerous microbial communities. Each community seems to be charged with a distinc t set of metabolic tasks, such as the digestion of sugars in the mouth or of complex carbohydrates in the intestines. The components of each community var y widely across locations. For example, the mouth contains a rich diversity of bac teria, whereas the microbiome in the vagina contains far fewer species. Adding complexity, the specific inhabitants of each community var y between individuals: Bac teria found in abundant numbers in one person’s mouth, for example, may be scarce in another person’s. Even more interesting, different microbes appear to per form the same tasks in different individuals. In other words, the intestines need a population of bac teria to digest fat; however, the specific species of bac teria per forming that job can var y between persons. Although researchers are just beginning to understand what all of these microbes do, it is cer tain they play an impor tant role in maintaining human health. Preliminar y evidence suggests that when we eradicate a cer tain species of bac teria or alter its relative population, we can open the door to development of any number of diseases, ranging from asthma to obesity.

Nostrils The Body AT WORK 900 species Each person carries a unique mix of pathogens. Consider
Nostrils
The Body AT WORK
900
species
Each person carries a unique
mix of pathogens. Consider
this: A study analyzed bacteria
on the hands of 51
undergraduate students
leaving an examination room.
Each student carried
approximately 3200 bacteria
from 150 species on his or her
hands. However, only five
species were found on all
students’ hands; in addition,
any two hands (even those
belonging to the same person)
had only 13% of their bacteria
in common.
30,000 genes
Teeth
1,300 species
20,000 genes
Mouth
800
species
70,000 genes
Gastrointestinal trac t
4,000 species
FAST FACT
800,000 genes
Vagina
300 species
10,000 genes
The microbial communities
that live on the teeth are
different from those that
live in saliva.
Copyright © 2014. F. A. Davis. Online Chapter to Accompany Thompson, Understanding Anatomy & Physiolog y.

3

The Human Microbiome

3 The Human Microbiome B u i l d i n g a M i c

B u i l d i n g a M i c r o b i o m e

3 The Human Microbiome B u i l d i n g a M i c

The first, crucial step in the development of a microbiome occurs when a newborn passes through the birth canal. The newborn leaves the womb without a single microbe. Then, during the birth process, bacteria from the mother’s vagina coat the newborn. This allows microbes to pass from mother to child, forming the basis of the newborn’s microbiome. (See “ The Body at Work” on the next page.) After birth, the microbiome expands as the newborn picks up bacteria from his or her immediate environment—other people, food, clothing, furniture, pets, and even the air. As the child grows, the microbiome becomes more complex. At the same time, the microbiome seems to boost development of the immune system. If something disrupts the vibrancy of the microbiome, such as the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics, health seems to suffer. According to researchers, children who take high levels of antibiotics have a higher risk for development of allergies and asthma.

Pets Bir th process Trees Fur niture Skin contact Other people Breast- feeding
Pets
Bir th
process
Trees
Fur niture
Skin
contact
Other people
Breast-
feeding

Copyright © 2014. F. A. Davis. Online Chapter to Accompany Thompson, Understanding Anatomy & Physiolog y.

4

The Body AT WORK During pregnanc y, the bacteria l communit y within a woman’s vagina
The Body AT WORK
During pregnanc y, the bacteria l communit y within a woman’s vagina changes significantly as it prepares for the
newborn’s passage. Normally abundant species become rare, while once -rare species begin to proliferate. Bacteria
not normally found in the vagina also take up residence.
For example, one recent study discovered a sizable population of a bacterium called Lactobacillus johnsonii. This
bacterium normally resides in the gut, where it produces enz ymes that digest milk. Its appearance in the vagina
seemed unusual until researche rs considered that the neonate would be coated with, and ingest, the bacteria during
the bir th process. They then con cluded that the L. johnsonii would inoculate the newborn and prepare him or her to
digest milk.
Mothers fur ther contribute to their children’s microbiomes when they breastfeed. A recent study of lactating
women showed that the subjects’ breast milk contained 1600 species of bacteria along with sugars
(oligosaccharides) that infants cannot digest. The sugar nourishes beneficial gut bacteria, helping good bacteria
proliferate, which, in turn, inhib its the growth of harmful bacterial species.
Continuity
4 The Body AT WORK During pregnanc y, the bacteria l communit y within a woman’s

FAST FACT

Infants delivered by cesarean section— and who, therefore, lack many microbes routinely passed from mother to child— have a much higher incidence of allergies and asthma than do children delivered by vaginal birth.

L i f e l e s s o n : B a c t e r i a m a y p re ve n t s i n u s i t i s

The sinus passages of a person with sinusitis are typically inhabited by some 900 strains of bac teria. Remarkably, a healthy person has even more —1200 species. Exper ts think that the other members of the bac terial community help keep the infec tion in check. Specifically, one study found that the bac terium Lactobacillus sakei may be a key player in warding off the condition: Persons with this par ticular microbe had a far lower incidence of sinusitis. Unfor tunately, L. sakei is destroyed by antibiotics, leading some to speculate that frequent antibiotic use may ac tually set the stage for the development of sinusitis.

4 The Body AT WORK During pregnanc y, the bacteria l communit y within a woman’s

FAST FACT

Because children acquire significant components of their microbiomes from their mothers, some experts theorize that diseases that appear to be genetic, but whose causative genes can’t be located, really are heritable; it’s just that the genes causing the disease are bacterial.

4 The Body AT WORK During pregnanc y, the bacteria l communit y within a woman’s

FAST FACT

By the age of 18 years, the average American child has received from 10 to 20 courses of antibiotics.

Copyright © 2014. F. A. Davis. Online Chapter to Accompany Thompson, Understanding Anatomy & Physiolog y.

5

The Human Microbiome

5 The Human Microbiome C o m p o n e n t s o f

C o m p o n e n t s o f t h e M i c r o b i o m e

5 The Human Microbiome C o m p o n e n t s o f

Bacteria make up the bulk of the human microbiome, although viruses and fungi have also been identified. We also know that bacteria, viruses, and fungi can cause illness. Currently, scientists don’t clearly understand how the body determines which microbes to kill and which microbes to nourish.

Bac teria

Bacteria—the chief inhabitants of the microbiome—are single-celled microscopic organisms. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and are found practically ever ywhere on earth. Indeed, bacteria can be found in such extreme environments as volcanic vents and Antarctic ice.

Bacteria lack a membrane - enclosed nucleus and organelles. Rather, bacterial DNA is grouped within the cell’s central region.

Some bacteria have flagellae, which aid in motility.

5 The Human Microbiome C o m p o n e n t s o f

Some species of bacteria have a capsule: a gelatinous covering that keeps the bacterium from drying out. The capsule also helps ward off attack by larger microorganisms, including the body’s white blood cells. For this reason, bacteria that contain a capsule are more likely to cause disease compared to those without a capsule.

5 The Human Microbiome C o m p o n e n t s o f
5 The Human Microbiome C o m p o n e n t s o f
5 The Human Microbiome C o m p o n e n t s o f

Ribosomes synthesize proteins.

5 The Human Microbiome C o m p o n e n t s o f

Bacteria contain small loops of DNA called plasmids that can be transmitted from one cell to another,

either directly or through viruses. This ability to trade genes allows bacteria to be extremely adaptable. For example, genes that resist an antibiotic can spread rapidly through a bacterial population.

A rigid cell wall composed of a polysaccharide molecule called peptidoglycan encloses the bacterium and gives the cell its shape. The composition of the cell wall varies widely between species, making it an important distinguishing factor between bacterial types. (See “Life Lesson: Identifying bacteria” on page 7.)

The cytoplasmic membrane, composed of phospholipids and proteins, regulates the flow of materials into and out of the cell.

Many species of bacteria have small, hair-like projections called pili. These outgrowths allow bacteria to attach to other cells and sur faces (such as your teeth).

Copyright © 2014. F. A. Davis. Online Chapter to Accompany Thompson, Understanding Anatomy & Physiolog y.

6

Continuity

6 Continuity Bacterial Shapes Most bacteria have one of three shapes: Cocci Cocci are round or

Bacterial Shapes

Most bacteria have one of three shapes:

Cocci Cocci are round or spherical.

Cocci

Cocci are round or spherical.

Bacilli Bacilli are rod-shaped.
Bacilli
Bacilli are rod-shaped.

Some bacteria live singly; others exist in aggregates or clusters.

Diplococci Diplococci are cocci that exist in sets of two, whereas monococci live singly.

Diplococci

Diplococci are cocci that exist in sets of two, whereas monococci live singly.

Streptococci Streptococci are cocci that exist in chain form.

Streptococci

Streptococci are cocci that exist in chain form.

Spirilla Spirilla are spiral-shaped.

Spirilla

Spirilla are spiral-shaped.

Staphylococci Staphylococci are cocci that occur in clusters.

Staphylococci

Staphylococci are cocci that occur in clusters.

L i f e l e s s o n : B a c t e r i a l t r a n s p l a n t s

Broad-spec trum antibiotics can be lifesavers. Unfor tunately, they also annihilate good bac teria along with the bad. Once treatment stops, there is no guarantee that the microbiome will return to normal. The disrupted bac terial ecosystem then allows harmful bac teria to invade. Once in place, they can proliferate with abandon, unchecked by the good bac teria. One par ticularly vicious bac terium that may invade a person’s gut following a course of antibiotics is Clostridium difficile. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, C. difficile afflic ts more than 330,000 persons in the United States each year and results in 14,000 deaths. The infec tion, which usually afflic ts hospitalized patients, is ver y difficult to treat, and patients are left to suffer from intense diarrhea and abdominal pain. A major breakthrough in the treatment of this serious infec tion recently occurred when researchers transplanted feces from a healthy individual into the intestines of patients with C. difficile. Once delivered (by way of an enema or colonoscopy), the good bac teria multiplied rapidly, squeezing out the C. difficile. Most patients felt significant improvement almost immediately. In fac t, one recent study involving 77 patients had an initial success rate of 91%. When the seven who didn’t respond the first time were given a second transplant, six were cured.

Copyright © 2014. F. A. Davis. Online Chapter to Accompany Thompson, Understanding Anatomy & Physiolog y.

7

The Human Microbiome

The Body AT WORK Human genome The organisms gathered during the Human Microbiome Projected contained about
The Body AT WORK
Human genome
The organisms gathered during the Human
Microbiome Projected contained about 8 million
genes; this dwar fs the 22,000 contained in the
human genome. Put another way, for ever y
human gene in your body, you also have 360
microbial genes.
The function of half the micro bial genes remains
a mystery. What is certain, though, is that microbial
genes have just as great an influence on health and
the development of disease as human genes do.
22,000 genes
Human microbiome
8,000,000 genes
L i f e l e s s o n : I d e n t i f y i n g b a c t e r i a

Gram staining—which involves applying dye to a bac terial sample —is almost always the first step in identifying the bac terial cause of an illness. Whether or not the bac teria retain the dye determines whether the bac teria will be classified as gram negative or gram positive. Although the technique can’t identify the species of bac teria causing an illness, the fac t that it provides immediate results can be useful when making treatment decisions.

Peptidoglycan (cell wall) Cytoplasmic membrane

7 The Human Microbiome The Body AT WORK Human genome The organisms gathered during the Human

Gram-positive bac teria Have a thick layer of peptidoglycan in their cell walls, which retains the dye Stain purple

Outer membrane Peptidoglycan (cell wall)

Cytoplasmic membrane
Cytoplasmic membrane

Gram-negative bac teria

Have a cell wall consisting of a thin layer of peptidoglycan and an outer membrane Lose the dye when rinsed Appear red or pink after a counterstain is applied

Because antibiotics such as penicillin work by attacking the peptidoglycan in the bac terial cell wall, they are more effec tive against Gram-positive bac teria.

7 The Human Microbiome The Body AT WORK Human genome The organisms gathered during the Human

FAST FACT

Penicillin interferes with a bacterium’s ability to manufacture peptidoglycan. As a result, the cell wall becomes fragile and bursts, killing the bacterium. Because human cells don’t contain peptidoglycan, they are not harmed.

Copyright © 2014. F. A. Davis. Online Chapter to Accompany Thompson, Understanding Anatomy & Physiolog y.

8

Continuity

8 Continuity Viruses Viruses are extremely small infectious agents, too small in most cases even to

Viruses

Viruses are extremely small infectious agents, too small in most cases even to be seen under a light microscope. Unlike bacteria, viruses are not cells. They can’t metabolize nutrients, produce or excrete wastes, or move around independently. They can’t even reproduce on their own; to do so, they must be inside a host cell. Even so, viruses spark many human diseases, including smallpox, AIDS, influenza, certain types of cancer, and the common cold.

Viruses are, simply, a bundle of genetic material (either DNA or RNA) surrounded by a protein
Viruses are, simply, a bundle of genetic
material (either DNA or RNA)
surrounded by a protein shell called a
capsid.
Nucleic acid
(DNA or RNA)
Spikes
Individual structural units called
capsomeres join together to form the
capsid.
Some viruses have an additional layer
surrounding the capsid: a spikey lipid
membrane called an envelope. The spikes
help the viruses grip their target cell.

Viral Shapes

The capsid may assume one of three basic shapes: helical, polyhedral, or complex. In each case, an envelope may, or may not, surround the capsid.

RNA Capsomere
RNA
Capsomere

Capsid

Helical capsid

Helical viruses consist of a strand of RNA spiraled within a protein c ylinder. The rabies virus and Ebola virus are both helical viruses. The influenza virus is a helical virus with an envelope.

DNA

Capsomere
Capsomere

Capsid

Polyhedral capsid

In polyhedral viruses, the capsid consists of many triangular faces that surround a strand of DNA. Adenovirus is a polyhedral virus. Herpes virus is a polyhedral virus with an envelope.

Tail fiber (head) Capsid DNA Sheath
Tail fiber
(head)
Capsid
DNA
Sheath

Complex capsid

Complex viruses are neither helical nor poly- hedral. Bac teriophages (which infect bacte- rial cells) are complex viruses, consisting of a helical sheath and a complex head contain- ing DNA or RNA. A bacteriophage uses the tail fibers to attach to the sur face of its host. It then uses the sheath like a syringe to inject its nucleic acid into the target cell.

Copyright © 2014. F. A. Davis. Online Chapter to Accompany Thompson, Understanding Anatomy & Physiolog y.

9

The Human Microbiome

Viral Replication

Left to themselves, viruses are inert. To replicate, they must invade a host cell and hijack that cell’s metabolic chemicals and ribosomes.

When a virus encounters a host cell, it binds to the cell’s sur face.

Nucleic acid (DNA or RNA) 1 1 Virus 2 1 1 1 Nucleus 4
Nucleic acid
(DNA or RNA)
1
1
Virus
2
1
1
1
Nucleus
4
3
3
9 The Human Microbiome Viral Replication Left to themselves, viruses are inert. To replicate, they must
The virus then 1 penetrates the cell, either by fusing with the cell’s membrane or by
The virus then
1
penetrates the cell,
either by fusing with the
cell’s membrane or by
causing the cell to engulf
it. Once inside, the virus
releases its DNA into the
cell.

The completed viruses are released from the cell, often destroying the host in the process.

The virus then commandeers the host cell’s machiner y, and the host begins producing viral nucleic acids instead of its own. Each nucleic acid is then encased in a capsid manufactured from the host ’s amino acids.

     
 

FAST FACT

A single cell may produce from 10,000 to 50,000 new viruses in as little as 48 hours.

9 The Human Microbiome Viral Replication Left to themselves, viruses are inert. To replicate, they must

FAST FACT

Viruses can mutate rapidly. These frequent changes make it difficult to create effective vaccines to protect humans against infection.

Copyright © 2014. F. A. Davis. Online Chapter to Accompany Thompson, Understanding Anatomy & Physiolog y.

10

Continuity

10 Continuity Fungi Fungi , which include molds and yeasts, live in the soil, on plants,

Fungi

Fungi, which include molds and yeasts, live in the soil, on plants, and even in the air. Some fungi reproduce through tiny spores in the air, making it possible to inhale the spores or for them to land on your skin. Consequently, many fungal infections begin on the skin or in the lungs. Persons most likely to experience fungal infections include those with weakened immune systems or those taking antibiotics. For example, when the microbiome becomes disrupted by a course of antibiotics, a yeast-like fungus called Candida albicans—which normally resides on the skin as well as in the mouth, intestines, and vagina—can overgrow, resulting in vaginitis or oral thrush. Athlete’s foot and ringworm are also fungal infections.

Bacterium The Body AT WORK Bacteria are microscopic, ranging in size from 1 to 10 micrometers.
Bacterium
The Body AT WORK
Bacteria are microscopic, ranging in size from
1 to 10 micrometers. In contrast, viruses are
ultramicroscopic; they are measured in nanometers
(nm). In fact, 2000 bacteriophages would fit into a
single bacterial cell.
Red blood cell
Rhinovirus
Adenovirus
Bacteriophage
Poliovirus

L i f e l e s s o n : A b a c t e r i a l l i n k t o o b e s i t y

The incidence of obesity has become epidemic in the United States, par ticularly among children. Recent scientific findings suggest that in some instances obesity may result from disruption of the microbiome in the gut. One study, for example, found that mice gained weight rapidly after their intestinal microbiomes were disrupted by antibiotic medication. Given in doses comparable to those used to treat children with ear infec tions, the antibiotics eradicated bac teria needed to metabolize calories efficiently. Without the microbes, the mice absorbed more calories from the same amount of food and gained weight. The link between antibiotic ingestion and weight gain has been a well-known fac t in the ranching community for years. In fac t, approximately three quar ters of antibiotics consumed in the United States are given to livestock, not to treat illness but rather to promote rapid growth and weight gain. Although antibiotics save lives and are a key weapon against bac terial infec tions, it is becoming evident that antibiotics also disrupt the microbiome in ways still not completely understood.

The Body AT WORK Exper ts have long maintained that infectious disease occurs when a microorganism
The Body AT WORK
Exper ts have long maintained that infectious disease occurs when a microorganism known to cause disease (called
a pathogen) invades the hum an body through a por tal of entr y (such as a break in the skin or the respirator y,
gastrointestinal, or genitourinar y tract). However, the focus on one pathogen as the cause of a par ticular disease is
beginning to change.
It ’s now clear that nearly ever yone carries pathogens within the mix of the microbiome. In healthy individuals,
potential pathogens coexist peacefully within the microbiome and produce no ill effects. Research is ongoing as
scientists seek to discover why, and under what conditions, some pathogens trigger illness. Findings are beginning to
show that what matters is not a par ticular bacterium, but the function of the microbiome as a whole.

Copyright © 2014. F. A. Davis. Online Chapter to Accompany Thompson, Understanding Anatomy & Physiolog y.

11
11

The Human Microbiome

11 The Human Microbiome Bacilli: Rod-shaped bacteria Bac teria: Single-celled microscopic organisms that are the chief

Bacilli: Rod-shaped bacteria

Bac teria: Single-celled microscopic organisms that are the chief inhabitants of the microbiome

Capsid: Protein shell that surrounds viral genetic material

Capsomeres: Individual structural units forming the viral capsid

Capsule: Gelatinous covering that keeps the bacterium from dr ying out

Cocci: Round- or spherical-shaped bacteria

R e v i e w o f K e y Te r m s

11 The Human Microbiome Bacilli: Rod-shaped bacteria Bac teria: Single-celled microscopic organisms that are the chief

Gram stain: Staining technique used to classify bacteria into one of two groups

Human microbiome: Microbial

makeup of healthy humans

Por tal of entry: Pathway by which infectious organisms gain access to the body

Spirilla: Spiral-shaped bacteria

Microbe: Microscopic organism, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi

Pathogen: Disease-causing microorganism

Virus: Ultramicroscopic pathogen consisting of a nucleic acid within a protein shell

Plasmids: Small loops of DNA contained within bacteria that allow them to transmit DNA from one cell to another

11 The Human Microbiome Bacilli: Rod-shaped bacteria Bac teria: Single-celled microscopic organisms that are the chief

O w n t h e I n f o r m a t i o n

11 The Human Microbiome Bacilli: Rod-shaped bacteria Bac teria: Single-celled microscopic organisms that are the chief

To make the information in this chapter part of your working memor y, take some time to reflect upon what you’ve learned. On a separate sheet of paper, write down ever ything you can recall about the key topics discussed in this chapter, listed below. After you’re done, log on to the DavisPlus website and check out the learning objectives for Chapter 25. Does what you’ve written down fully address each of the learning objectives for this chapter? If not, read the pertinent sections in this chapter again. Then take your learning even further by writing out or diagramming the concepts for each learning objective.

Key Topics for Chapter 25:

Findings of the Human Microbiome Project How individuals acquire their microbiomes Role of the microbiome in health and disease Components of the microbiome Effect of antibiotics on the microbiome Structural components of bacteria Structural components of viruses How viruses replicate

Copyright © 2014. F. A. Davis. Online Chapter to Accompany Thompson, Understanding Anatomy & Physiolog y.

12
12

Continuity

12 Continuity Te s t Yo u r K n o w l e d g
12 Continuity Te s t Yo u r K n o w l e d g

Te s t Yo u r K n o w l e d g e

12 Continuity Te s t Yo u r K n o w l e d g
  • 11. What was the goal of the Human Microbiome Project?

    • a. To sequence the human genome

    • b. To identify disease-causing microorganisms

    • c. To identify microorganisms residing within and on healthy adults

    • d. To discover whether bacteria contain DNA

  • 12. The Human Microbiome Project discovered that healthy adults:

    • a. harbor more bacterial cells than they have human cells.

    • b. The components of the microbiome are basically the same from one part of the body to another.

    • c. The components of the microbiome var y considerably between sites on the body and between individuals.

    • d. A healthy microbiome should be free from any disease- causing bacteria.

      • 15. Which statement about bacteria is most accurate?

        • a. Bacteria are microscopic cells that contain a nucleus and

    • b. harbor a significant number of

    organelles.

    bacterial cells but still have more human cells than bacterial cells.

    • b. The one consistent feature among all bacterial species is the composition of the cell

    • c. have no bacterial cells,

    wall.

    confirming that bacteria cause disease.

    • c. Bacteria have the ability to transmit DNA from one cell

    • d. harbor very few bacterial cells.

    to another.

    • 13. How does a person’s microbiome normally develop?

      • a. The microbiome begins to develop in the womb, as bacterial cells cross the placenta.

      • b. The microbiome begins to develop at age 3 months.

      • c. Immunizations are necessar y to trigger the development of the microbiome.

      • d. The microbiome begins to develop as the infant passes through the birth canal.

  • 14. Which statement about the human microbiome is most accurate?

    • d. All bacteria have the same basic shape.

    • 16. What effect do bacterial genes have on human health?

      • a. Bacterial genes exert some effect, although human DNA exerts a greater effect.

      • b. Bacterial genes have just as great an influence on human health as human genes do.

      • c. Bacteria within the microbiome stay within their own community; therefore, their genes do not influence health.

      • d. Bacteria do not have genes.

    • a. Ever y healthy adult carries a mix of microorganisms that is basically similar, except for a few minor variations.

    Copyright © 2014. F. A. Davis. Online Chapter to Accompany Thompson, Understanding Anatomy & Physiolog y.

    13
    13

    The Human Microbiome

    Answers: Chapter 25

    • 1. Correct answer: c. The Human Genome Project sequenced the human genome. Scientists have been aware of bacteria that cause disease for some time, and that was not the goal of this project. Scientists already knew that bacteria contain DNA.

    • 2. Correct answer: a. The Human Microbiome Project discovered that healthy adults house more than 100 trillion microorganisms, most of which are bacteria. This means that microbes outnumber human cells by 10 to 1. Although bacteria can cause disease, these adults were healthy, which showed that bacteria play a beneficial role within the body.

    • 3. Correct answer: d. The newborn leaves the womb without a single microbe. The microbiome begins to develop during the birth process, as the newborn is exposed first to bacteria within the vagina and later to microbes within the environment. Immunizations protect newborns against certain diseases; they do not trigger development of the microbiome.

    • 4. Correct answer: c. The components of the microbiome var y considerably between sites on the body and between individuals. The Human Microbiome Project also discovered that nearly ever yone in the study carried known disease- causing bacteria despite being healthy.

    • 5. Correct answer: c. Bacteria are microscopic cells, but they have neither a nucleus nor organelles. The composition of the cell wall varies widely among species of bacteria, making it an important distinguishing factor. Bacteria occur in a variety of shapes, the most common of which are round (cocci), rod-shaped (bacilli), or spiral shaped (spirilla).

    • 6. Correct answer: b. Microbial genes outnumber human genes 360 to 1; therefore, they exert a greater influence on human health. Bacteria do not isolate themselves within a particular community. Bacteria contain DNA, so, therefore, they contain genes.

    • 7. Correct answer: d. The cell wall gives the cell its shape. The cytoplasmic membrane regulates the flow of materials into and out of the cell. Ribosomes synthesize proteins.

    • 8. Correct answer: a. All of the other answers describe bacteria.

    • 9. Correct answer: d. An excess of a specific bacteria can disrupt the composition of the microbiome; however, the most common way it is disrupted is through the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics. A viral infection has not been shown to disrupt the microbiome, and neither has the ingestion of alcohol.

    10. Correct answer: d. Imbalances in the microbiome have been linked to a number of disorders, including asthma, heart disease, and obesity.

    • 17. What purpose does the capsule ser ve in bacteria?

    • 19. What is the most common way a person’s microbiome can become

    • a. It gives the cell its shape.

    disrupted?

    • b. It regulates the flow of materials into and out of the

    a.

    Acquisition of a bacterial infection

    cell.

    b.

    Acquisition of a viral infection

    • c. It synthesizes proteins.

    c.

    Ingestion of alcohol

    • d. It helps ward off attack by larger microorganisms.

    d.

    Use of broad-spectrum antibiotics

    • 18. Which statement most accurately

    10.

    Imbalances in the microbiome

    describes viruses?

    have been linked to which of the

    • a. Viruses are not cells but,

    following disorders?

    rather, are a bundle of genetic

    a.

    Asthma

    material surrounded by a

    b.

    Heart disease

    protein shell.

    c.

    Obesity

    • b. Viruses are single-celled

    d.

    All of the above

    microscopic organisms that inhabit almost ever y environment on earth.

    • c. Viruses are often categorized through Gram staining.

    • d. Viruses have a cell wall that consists of peptidoglycan.

    Copyright © 2014. F. A. Davis. Online Chapter to Accompany Thompson, Understanding Anatomy & Physiolog y.