The term germ It has different meanings according to context . At a general level, it can be said that a germ is what propitiates the origin or the beginning of something .
In the case of plants, the germ is called part of the seed which allows the development of a new specimen. The notion can also refer to first of the stems that arise after the germination of the plant.
The germ of a plant individual is usually considered to be the embryo which is formed after fertilization, emerged in turn from the development of the zygote. This germ goes through a complex process as it unfolds, culminating in the appearance of the new plant.
It is also called germ a pathogenic microorganism . Microorganisms are microbes: unicellular organisms that can only be visualized using a microscope. The pathogenic adjective, on the other hand, qualifies what can cause and trigger a disease (an alteration of the Health ).
A germ, in this framework, is a agent capable of damaging a plant or animal organism (including the human being). The living being that houses the germ is called the host. Once the germ is installed in the host, if it finds the conditions it needs to develop it will end up producing a disease .
Since germs are microscopic, protecting ourselves from them is not easy, because we don't know if they are in our environment. It is important to note that this name serves to designate the following four types of organisms: bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa .
The unicellular organisms called bacteria they are naturally in our body; In fact, up to a certain number they are beneficial for us, since they collaborate with the proper functioning of the digestive system and block the entry of others, which can harm us. Certain bacteria are used in the pharmaceutical industry to create vaccines and medicines. Two possible attacks of this type of germ are strep throat and urinary tract infection.
Taking into account their size, the bacteria are larger than the virus . The latter do not have the ability to live in isolation, but depend on another organism for all its functions, such as its development and reproduction. Almost all viruses can subsist for a short time by themselves, that is, without being in a carrier. Some, like hepatitis, endure several days outside of other living cells, and that is why they are so dangerous.
The reason that these germs worry us so much is that they don't take long to reproduce as soon as they enter our body. Although their action is not always very serious, since they cause diseases such as colds There are also viruses that cause smallpox.
With respect to mushrooms , these are multicellular organisms similar to plants. They usually do not represent a danger to a person who is in good health. Unlike viruses, they generate their own food. Among the most normal and minor infections that can cause humans are ringworm and athlete's foot; If there is a problem that affects the immune system, such as cancer or AIDS, fungi can attack us much more severely.
The protozoa they proliferate in moisture, so some of the diseases that cause humans, such as intestinal infections, are spread through water.
In a broader and even symbolic sense, germ is the beginning of something , either moral (abstract) or material. By example : "Analysts believe that the germ of fundamentalist terrorism is in this Arab city", "The arrival of the Uruguayan striker was the germ of the team's success", "The government's anti-popular measures constituted the germ of the revolutionary movement".