The history of microbiology can be traced to ‘First Epidemics’ on earth, which affected Caveman and were probably waterborne. People had no real understanding of why disease occurred. As the civilization progressed, people started clustering into cities. They increasingly shared communal water, handled unwashed food, and stepped in excrement from casual discharge. The crowding increased and spread water-borne, insect-borne and skin-to-skin infectious diseases. Yet there was no general understanding of why disease occurred. By the 13th century fear of the diseased took a drastic turn in the formation of small leper colonies intended to isolate people carrying the devastating disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae.
In 1348, a mass epidemic caused by a single organism, Yersinia pestis, wiped out nearly one third of Europe’s population. The Plague spread rapidly in the unsanitary conditions of the Middle Ages, leaving Medieval Europeans defenseless against its devastation. Entire towns succumbed to the disease, leaving the living to dispose of thousands of contaminated corpses. Perhaps the deadliest disease in history, the plague or ‘Black Death’, claimed over 20 million lives and contributed to the fall of empires.
Until the invention of the microscope, optical instruments etc, this microbial world was unknown because of their smaller size.
Microbiology can be defined as a study of microscopic organisms ( the organisms which are too small to be perceived clearly by the naked human eye), those being unicellular -single cell, multicellular -cell colony and acellular -lacking cells.
These organisms usually measured 1mm or less which include some metazoan animals, protozoa, many algae and fungi, bacteria and viruses.