Viruses can spread all over the planet very rapidly, as if they possessed some cunning of sorts. Scientific research tells us that some viruses use a catapult-like function to spread more rapidly through the human body, and that they can become even faster than that. It feels as if they were always a step ahead of us.
Even if viruses and bacteria are often mistaken for each other, there are significant differences. Bacteria are single-cell micro-organisms, true living beings. For the most part they are harmless, but some bacteria can cause diseases such as chlamydia or tuberculosis. They can be fought mainly with antibiotics, which were regarded as a true cure-all during the last century. Today we know that is not really the case, because bacteria are getting increasingly resistant to antibiotics and consequently to treatment.
Fighting viruses is an even greater challenge. Much smaller than bacteria, viruses are seldom harmless and need a host cell to replicate. They are responsible for many diseases, including the flu, and can be fought with vaccines, which are only effective if ‘tailored’ to a target virus - an action often made useless by the ability many viruses exhibit to mutate constantly.
This film shows the fight of researchers against the development mechanisms of infectious diseases and against the amazing adaptation and transformation abilities of viruses and bacteria.