What are nanobugs® ?

The nanobugs® are a unique combination of science and imagination.

The nanobugs® characters represent bacteria, viruses, and fungi (microbes). Their cartoon image reveals natural characteristics of the microbe or the infection it causes. The bacteria and fungi nanobugs are “morphologically correct”; that means their body image matches their shape as observed under the microscope – rods, spheres, chains, or clusters. Anaerobic bacteria do not grow in the presence of oxygen so those nanobugs appear with gas masks. Some nanobugs have a “force field”” around them to show that they are antibiotic resistant.

The nanobugs® viruses are given a spherical shape and only one eye to represent the nucleic acid core of the virus. The nanobugs® viruses are black and white drawings symbolizing the fact that they are parasites, which can’t live independently; they require living cells to survive. The only color on a nanobugs® virus appears at the point of antibody attachment. This would be the “Achilles´ heel” of the virus because the attachment of a human antibody causes either neutralization or destruction of the virus.

Some of the nanobugs® are pathogenic – meaning they cause disease and infection in humans. And some are part of the normal flora of the human body – meaning they help us digest food in the intestines or protect other areas of the body from invading pathogenic nanobugs®. By learning about the different nanobugs® we can develop behaviors and strategies to stay healthy – avoiding some nanobugs® and being thankful for others.

Science + Imagination = the nanobugs®

Nanobugs, Inc. utilizes the contributions of individuals with extensive experience in microbiology and infection prevention and control to create captivating cartoon microbes. Every effort has been made to maintain the scientific integrity of the nanobugs® characters and products. Still, as the nanobugs began to take shape, we couldn´t resist the opportunity to let them show a little “attitude”!

From Mega to Micro …

Cartoon characters representing bacteria, viruses, and fungi will teach how infections are spread and how to prevent them. After all, generations of children have been endlessly fascinated with the dinosaurs, enthusiastically learning the names of the genus and species of these mega-creatures, like Tyrannosaurus Rex. We believe the nanobugs® will bring that same wonder and fascination to the world of micro-creatures (bacteria and viruses). Before long, children (and adults) will know the proper scientific names for important microbes, like Staphylococcus aureus, and how to prevent infections and stay healthy!

The Next Big Microscopic Thing …

The news is constantly filled with reports of new and emerging infections like H1N1 influenza and outbreaks of E coli O157 and Hepatitis A. Despite our attempts at prevention of sexually-transmitted diseases, the number of these infections continues to rise. Hand hygiene is preached in schools and health care settings and yet, compliance is a real issue. Health professionals face big challenges in controlling infections in hospitalized patients and the elderly in nursing homes. The nanobugs® present a fresh approach to infection prevention, stimulating everyone – young and old, teachers and students, doctors and nurses – to learn the relevant practical microbiology to develop their own strategies for infection prevention.