What are bacteria doing inside our Hearts and Lungs?

There’s hundreds of different types of bacteria living in our bodies right now!

You’re covered in bacteria, in fact! They’re on out skin, in our hair and mouths, and they are all different with different names. For example, there is Streptococcus mitis which lives in your mouth, Escherichia coli and Ruminococcus flavefacien who live in your tummy.

Most bacteria are harmless passengers on your body. Some can even be helpful, because they can help us make vitamins that we can’t get anywhere else. It’s important to keep them in the right places though, you don’t want snot bacteria on your skin or poo bacteria in your eye! This is why you should cover your mouth when you sneeze and wash your hands after you use the loo.

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Your lungs are very high tech and clean themselves too. There’s tiny hairs inside your lungs called Cillia which help move mucus up and out of your mouth. However, too much mucus isn’t helpful. Some people with a disease called Cystic Fibrosis have super sticky mucus which can cause them lots of problems.

heart and lung bacteria

Bacteria in your body comes from lots of different places. When you were born your mum passed some of hers to you and your friends and family share bacteria all the time just by living together. The combination of bacteria you have won’t be exactly the same as anyone else’s.

Bacteria are so tiny that you can only see them with a microscope. You can even look at their DNA, which is like an instruction book inside the cells. Click here to find out more about DNA!

It’s really interesting finding out more about these passengers – it all helps us to find new ways to keep our Heart and Lungs healthy too!

> Visit the Heart and Lung Hotline Homepage
> Download the free Heart and Lung Hotline podcast from iTunes