by Igor USHAKOV, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, full member of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences (RAMS), director of the RAS Institute of Biomedical Problems, Natalia NOVIKOVA, Dr. Sc. (Biol.), head of the laboratory "Microbiology of Environmental Conditions and Antibacterial Defense" of the same institute, Sergei SHASHKOVSKY, Cand. Sc. (Tech.), sector head of the Research Institute of the Power Engineering Industry of Bauman Moscow State Technical University
Unfortunately, the degree of biological hazards in the contemporary world is on the increase. The reason for this situation is not only in the variability of the existing microbes, but also in the emergence of new bacteria, viruses and fungi resistant to disinfection and antibiotics. It takes place also against the background of weaker human immunity. The current situation calls for radically new universal methods of infection control.
Naturally far from all microorganisms pose a threat for people. On the one hand, a number of bacteria and fungi coexist peacefully with man and even take an active part in his biological cycle. On the other hand, it is microbes that provoke regular attacks of cholera, plague, yellow fever, malaria and other diseases. In this last decade this list was supplemented with HIV, atypical pneumonia, bird and swine flu, drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis, etc. Besides, if approximately 1,000 agents of infection were known by the middle of the 20th century, more than 1,200 are on the list today.
These factors should be also taken into account by medical experts. According to the World Health Organization, hospital infections proper appear in developed countries at least among 5 percent of
Biodamages in a space station:
a--growth of mold fungi on a viewport;
b--growth of mold fungi on the wire insulation of a communication device;
c,d--biocorrosion of a smoke detector needle.
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