Microbes and their Kinds

We will discuss here about microbes and their kinds. We can see many different kinds of living things around us but there are many other things that we cannot see.

There are millions of very tiny living things which are found everywhere. They are present in the air, in water, in the soil and even inside our body. They are so small that we cannot see them with our eyes and we can only see them through a microscope. They are known as microbes.  Some microbes are useful to us while some are harmful. Some of the microbes cause diseases and they are known as germs.

There are four kinds of microbes. They are bacteria, protozoa, viruses and fungi.

(i) Bacteria: Bacteria are found everywhere and they are the most abundant living things on the earth. They have different shapes.


Harmful bacteria cause diseases such as typhoid and food poisoning. They also cause tooth decay. Useful bacteria help in the decay of dead plants and animals. These bacteria are used in making foods such as cheese, vinegar, yoghurt, etc. Some bacteria help animals in digesting food.

(ii) Protozoa: Some protozoa live in wet places and the others live in the bodies of plants and animals. They cause diseases like malaria and dysentery.


(iii) Viruses: Viruses are smaller than all other microbes (i.e. bacteria, protozoa, and fungi). They cause diseases like common cold, influenza, polio, mumps and measles.


(iv) Fungi: Fungi grow on dead and rotting things. They cause skin problems such as ringworm. The dandruff on our scalp is also caused by fungi. Some fungi are useful such as yeast is a fungus (singular) helps in making of bread and wine.


Bacteria, protozoa, viruses and fungi are microbes. Diseases causing microbes are called pathogens.

Useful microbes:

(i) Some bacteria change milk into curd

(i) Some bacteria help in decaying of dead plants and animals.

(i) Some bacteria digest roughage in animals

(i) Some bacteria produce vitamins in the human body.

Fourth Grade

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