Mysterious Bacteria Quiz

Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

E. coli is a common type of bacteria that can lead to serious health issues. Take this quiz to test your bacteria knowledge and learn about healthy forms of bacteria.

Hot tubs are supposed to be for relaxation, not infection, but this organism has been known to cause 'hot tub lung.'

When you take a hot soak (above 84 degrees), the chlorine in hot tub water isn't able to disinfect as well, and bacteria can flourish. Hot tubbers breathe in Mycobacterium avium, causing coughing and fatigue.

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Troops who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan have come in contact with this bacteria, the same that infected wounds in the Vietnam war.

Acinetobacter baumannii organisms have been found infecting and colonizing wounded military personnel and are one of the most difficult organisms to treat because of their growing resistance to multiple antibiotics.

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What bacteria lives in soil and may enhance your mood and make you smarter?

Mycobacterium vaccae occurs naturally in soil and may give you a natural high when you spend time outside. Studies show that the bacteria increases our level of serotonin, the "feel good" chemical in our brain.

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This rod-shaped organism killed one out of every three Europeans during the Middle Ages.

The most common disease caused by Yersinia pestis is the Bubonic plague -- Black Death -- but it can cause others as well. When this bacteria invades the lungs, it causes Pneumonic plague, and when it's in the blood, it causes Septicemic plague.

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This bacteria is spread through the contaminated urine of infected animals and can cause flu-like symptoms or severe organ damage in both humans and our pets.

The Leptospira bacteria typically infects a person or animal via drinking contaminated water and can cause a variety of symptoms, including high fever, severe headache, chills, muscle aches, vomiting and diarrhea, jaundice, red eyes, abdominal pain and rash. When left untreated, it can lead to organ damage, meningitis or death.

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You may think your laundry is clean but when you move your wet delicates from the washer to the dryer, what bacteria are you exposing yourself to?

E. coli (Escherichia coli) lives in our colon and strains can create toxins that give us abdominal pain and diarrhea (and left untreated, kidney failure).

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Yogurt is known for its good-for-you bacteria, known as probiotics, but other foods also offer similar benefits. Which food does not contain probiotics?

There are trillions of microbes living in your digestive system, but age, medications and disease can diminish the bacterial colony. Certain foods can help replenish it - but bananas aren't among them.

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Prebiotic bacteria are found in foods such as honey and bananas and are a tasty buffet to the probiotic microbes living in our gut. What about prebiotics do probiotics like?

Prebiotics are non-digestible sugars that provide food -- oligofructose and inulin -- to the bacteria living in our digestive tract, specifically encouraging bifidobacteria to grow.

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Different types of this organism are known to cause everything from sore throats to scarlet fever to flesh-eating disease, as well as dental cavities.

Don't rejoice with a candy bar just yet -- Streptococcal bacteria may be causing your cavities but it does so by eating sugar and releasing acid that causes tooth decay.

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Your purse may be stylish but chances are you don't treat it very well -- the bottom of women's purses have been found to contain thousands (sometimes millions) of microbes. Which isn't a common bacteria hitching a ride in your hobo?

While the microbes found on your bag could often cause skin or eye infections, and sometimes gastrointestinal problems, Legionella (the cause of Legionnaires' disease) are usually found in warm water.

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To be considered sanitary, a surface should have no more than 1,000 bacteria per square inch. In which of the following locations will you find more Staphylococcus bacteria?

According to a recent study, Staphylococcus bacteria, which causes skin infections -- including the drug-resistant strain (MRSA), which can be severe -- is found in 26 percent of bathtubs.

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What is the estimated combined weight of the trillions of microbes living in your gut?

There are more than 100 trillion microbes living in your digestive system, all adding up to about 3 to 5 pounds.

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Which of the following bacteria is a major cause of peptic ulcers?

For a long time, we believed stress or poor diet caused ulcers. However, in 1982, it was discovered that most peptic ulcers are actually caused by bacteria -- Helicobacter pylori (or H. pylori).

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Beware ordering a fountain-dispensed soda. According to one recent study, what percentage of soda fountains contain coliform bacteria (fecal microbes)?

Of the sodas tested by microbiologists during a study at Hollins University, 48 percent were found to contain fecal coliform including E. coli, Chryseobacterium meningosepticum, Klebsiella, Staphylococcus and others (some were found to be drug resistant).

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Would you like lemon in your beverage? No, you don't. Multiple studies have shown restaurant lemon wedges are freqently tainted with what bacteria?

E. coli is a bacteria commonly found in fecal matter, and it is the number one bacteria found on lemon rinds and pulp. Other bacterias known to cause skin infections were found, in low numbers.

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Fact or fiction: A certain disease-causing pathogen may also bear beneficial uses because it encourages blood to clot.

The discovery of a bacteria that encourages coagulation could help doctors and researchers protect us from dangerous blood clots.

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What is the most effective way to kill drug-resistant 'super bugs' such as Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) when cleaning your house?

The spores of these antibiotic-resistant superbugs can't be tamed by alcohol-based cleansers or just plain soap and water -- you need to use bleach-based cleaners.

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What, other than your sweet tooth, could be to blame for your chocolate craving?

A study published in the American Journal of Proteome Research found that people who have to have their daily chocolate fix have different types of bacteria living in their digestive system than people who don't crave chocolate.

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Bacteria may like to feed on carbohydrates -- and as we learned earlier, that includes chocolate -- but they're not spending their days eating proverbial bonbons. What environmental catastrophe could they help?

How to clean up an oil spill without the booms and chemicals normally dispatched to counter the mess? Bioremediation -- naturally-occurring bacteria that are hungry for hydrocarbons (petroleum products). They eat it, release carbon dioxide and water, and die off.

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What might diverse colonies of bacteria in your gut help you do?

Researchers at the Institute for Genome Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine found that people who don't have bacterial diversity in their digestive tracts were more likely to be obese (and vice versa).

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