Disease has become a part of our everyday lives. While we do our best to take preventive measures and avoid contracting various pathogens, harmful microbial life follows us. Microbes can be found across a wide range of environments and ecosystems, including the marine. Marine microbes include harmful pathogens and/or substances that humans might be able to adapt to and take advantage of for the progression of our species. We must be careful, however. It is imperial that we distinguish between the different classes of microbes and gain a proper understanding og the opportunities and threats associated with them.
What is a Pathogen?
Pathogens are essentially defined as agents of disease, and marine pathogens are prevalent in aquatic ecosystems. Pathogens are commonly known as bacterium, viruses, or any other microorganisms that are known to cause disease. It is understood to cause damage in the host.
Marine Pathogens- Their Unique Potential for Harm
Marine pathogens can cause harm to both humans and marine life, as water-borne diseases such as cholera are making steady comebacks. Some common examples of diseases caused by marine pathogens include Oregon sockeye disease and infectious pancreatic necrosis. These diseases most commonly affect breeds of fish, but have been known to affect humans too. Marine pathogens are perhaps more dangerous than standard pathogens in the air, as the human body does not have an adequate immune response to these pathogens. This makes us more likely to develop serious illness when exposed to these diseases.
However, marine microbes can also be greatly useful to the human population. Recent studies have shown that marine microbes can potentially be used as indicators of ocean change, as it has been discovered that these microbes can evolve rapidly in response to a change in their aquatic environment.
By monitoring the evolution of marine microbes, we can monitor ocean change. This lays the groundwork for better understanding of our ocean life. Marine microbes are becoming increasingly important in research on ecosystems, with applications in biotechnology.
Overall, while marine microbes present many interesting opportunities it is important to recognise the dangers of some of these microbes. While we cannot biologically defend ourselves against them to a sufficient capacity, we can realise the dangers of them. This way, we can protect ourselves and the human race.