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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 203-208

The resilience of microbes – Man's great enemies

Department of Community Health and Primary Care, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Akin Osibogun
Department of Community Health and Primary Care, Lagos University Teaching Hospital and College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcls.jcls_39_21

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More than 1400 microbes are known to cause disease in man and are therefore classified as pathogenic microbes. Only 12% of microbes on earth are responsible for the emerging and re-emerging diseases. All infectious agents have adapted routes for exiting from their reservoirs of infection because that is the only way there can be a perpetuation of their species. Factors aiding the seeming resilience of microbes include microbial evolution and adaptation, human susceptibility, climate and weather, changing ecosystem, human demography and behaviour amongst others. Therefore, man must recognize that the war against microbes is likely going to be there permanently. If we are careless however, the microbes may make life uncomfortable for man and change how we live drastically. A strengthened health intelligence system will support an early warning system that gives clear pictures of what is on the ground and what is evolving. This will also monitor the environment including the water supply system, the sewage, the soil, and the air for evidence of microbes that may be pathogenic to man. We must also mount a robust anthropological surveillance to monitor human behavior as it may affect disease transmission and must search for and deploy effective antimicrobial agents. Overall, we must develop the human capacity that will efficiently deliver our selected strategies to detect, prevent, and mitigate the impact of microbes on human health.

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