What Are Microorganisms?
Microorganisms are microscopic living systems that cannot be seen with the naked eye, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and most forms of protists. We live in a world where we are constantly surrounded by trillions of microorganisms. In general, they live in the air we breathe, the food we eat, the surfaces we touch, our bodies, and our skin. Although many microorganisms are harmless and essential for our body, some could be potentially harmful, further leading to viral infections and unforgiving diseases. According to the Microbiology Society, there are “a few harmful microbes, for example less than 1% of bacteria, can invade our body (the host) and make us ill.” In a world where we are heavily exposed to so many forms of bacteria, we are reliant on our immune system, medication, and hygienic practices to help keep us safe. Unfortunately, these practices are still not enough to keep us from contracting viral infections. But what if we could add an additional preventative measure into our daily lives to help aid as a barrier against infectious diseases and to stop the spread of pathogenic microbes?
How Can Antibacterial and Antiviral Substances Fight Against Viral Infections?
Based on the scientific article called “Antibacterial and Antiviral Functional Materials: Chemistry and Biological Activity toward Tackling Covid-19-like Pandemics,” recently published on American Chemical Society Pharmacology & Translational Science, show reliable evidence that there are antimicrobial coated materials that could “inhibit the growth or kill the pathogenic microbes, namely, bacteria, fungi, and viruses.” Although we have been conditioned to believe that our immune system, medication, vaccines, and safe hygienic practices are the only forms of treatment that could fight against diseases, they aren’t. In fact, recent studies show that we could take actions into our own hands by incorporating an additional step to help prevent sickness. The Department of Chemical Engineering, at the Indian Institute of Technology, has recently discovered that “Hybrid antimicrobial coating materials comprising copper, silver, and zinc cations have also shown great virucidal effects in controlling the severe viruses such as influenza H1N1, HIV-1, dengue type 2 viruses, and human herpesvirus1.” This breakthrough discovery could be the answer to many of our problems. As we have recently been victims of the worldwide outbreak of coronavirus also known as SARS-CoV-1 and Covid-19, we are aware that the virus initially attacks the respiratory system, possibly being one of the most dangerous infections because it is extremely contagious.
“Just a Moment...” Antibacterial and Antiviral Functional Materials: Chemistry and Biological Activity toward Tackling COVID-19-like Pandemics, pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsptsci.0c00174. Accessed 19 June 2022.