Bacterial Transformation (Bacteria are Evolving Like viruses)-recall of Transforming Principle

In recent decades more studies were conducted to study the Bacteria and viruses, how they work, how they can be controlled and so on. The thing which is to be observed that bacteria are evolving at a high rate, they have adapted the evolutionary features of viruses. 
This was begun in the early 1920s when Frederick Griffith showed in his experiment that something is transforming in the non-virulent bacteria to make it virulent. At that time due to lack of technologies and resources he was unable to find which the responsible thing is making it happen. Later on, in the 1950’s it was validated and proven by Hershey and Chase that the DNA was responsible for this transformation.

Bacterial Transformation concerning Transforming Principle

This era is about advance genetics and proteomics where the medical experts are trying to cure the disease of their root cause concerning their origin. However we have far developed the CRISPR-CAS technology which is efficiently working but still it is unable to work in medical science.

Coming back to the medical Science we have developed about every medicine technique to cure the disease/illness caused by bacteria however when it comes to viruses especially in retroviruses it may take a decade to millenniums to find a cure. This is due to viruses do not have their own mechanism, they have only some part of bad DNA (junk DNA) which is functional in their hosts. Also they use host metabolism and machinery to work. On the other hand if we talk about bacteria’s they have a complete cell and have their own machinery/metabolism.

In case of illness caused by bacteria, medical science has to just focus on somehow interrupting bacterial machinery/metabolism to stop its functioning, whereas in the case of viral infection medical science has to find a way to eradicate the viral genome. 

These properties about viral infection or illness caused by viruses are now being adopted by most of the highly evolved bacteria. This is called bacterial genome transformation. Frederick Griffith in his experiments showed that a non-virulent strain of bacteria can become virulent if it gets the DNA of the Nucleus of the virulent bacteria.

Thus making the bacterial treatment complicated bacteria are now withstanding on most of the antibiotics. Government bodies are also taking necessary actions to prevent overuse or dosage of antibiotics because recent studies showed that most bacteria are now antibiotic-resistant.

An Overview of Griffith transforming principle

In his experiments, Griffith took two strains of bacteria one is Rough Strain (Virulent) and another is Smooth strain (Non-Virulent). As depicted in the below image he performed his experiment in the same pattern and drawn to this conclusion,

image courtesy-wikepedia

  • When he injected heat-killed smooth strain (make non-virulent by killing them over high temperature) the mouse lives, whereas when the same is injected with the live rough strain the mouse died. He ended up that that may be DNA or Protein of the Smooth strain bacteria is acquired by Rough strain bacteria and it becomes virulent due to which mouse died.   
  • Later on by Hershey and Chase it was proved that DNA was the transformed in Griffith experiment not protein form where we know that DNA is our genetics material.

Consequences of the Bacterial Transformation

Seeking to the present scenario, we have all the techniques and medication to fight against any bacterial illness, but the same is not available for illness caused by some latest or new viruses. However we can control the viral infections to some extent until they are at their last stage.

Recent researches are showing that most of the antibiotics are non-functional against microbes. This shows that microbes are now evolved enough to withstand antibiotics, the international health communities are advising people to not use antibiotics until unless recommended by the doctor. See the Notification at Indian Drug Regulatory Authority.

If the transformation occurs rapidly and at the brood spectrum then the infection rate is increased by double.

Controlling Bacterial Infection

Bacterial infection can be prevented or cured by taking some preventive measures below they are described:

Basic Sanitary Habits

Basic Sanitary habits are the hygiene-related habits that every individual must follow and apply in his/her daily routine to prevent any occurrence of microbial infection.
Now people are using Sanitizers and other alcohol-based products as a preventive measure which is more effective and quite susceptible. Below are the FAQs on Sanitizers and alcohol-based products:


How Sanitizers or Alcohol-based Products Work?

The sanitizer contains Alcohol as their active ingredient which may be of 70% or less in the concentration of Alcohol. Alcohol is used in the laboratories as a disinfectant due to its microbe killing properties; basically alcohol is absorbed by the bacterial cell in the lieu of cytoplasm by crossing the microbial cell membrane which water cannot cross easily, thus increasing the surface retention from inside of the bacterial cell. This causes the bursting of the microbial cell.

Does Sanitizers Effective Against Viruses?

Referring to my above question on how it works, Alcohol-based sanitizers are not effective against viruses except some flu viruses (Ref NCBI and NIH text on their website). This is because viruses do not have liquid filled inside their cell they are like small crystal-like structures/morphology. So alcohol cannot cross the membrane because to move inside/across the membrane an equal tension is must be created. If somehow it may cross it will not harm the viral genome thus having no impact on its viability.

However UV radiation exposure, heating water are effective against viruses but they cannot be used as sanitizers.

Does Regular use of Sanitizers cause any problem to my skin?

Yes, It may cause severe problems if overused. The most common skin manifestations of alcoholism are urticarial reactions, porphyria cutanea tarda, flushing, cutaneous stigmata of cirrhosis, psoriasis, pruritus, seborrheic dermatitis, and rosacea. (Ref: Skin diseases in alcoholics, by Kostović K, Lipozencić J. PMID: 15369644)


Taking Antibiotics (After Consulting The Doctor)

This is the medication part that only comes when you have symptoms or infected.

For any adverse or unwanted symptoms related to any query first consult your doctor before using any type of medication.


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