The most common diseases caused by bacteria include meningitis, gastritis, sexually transmitted diseases, skin infections, boils, among others. All these diseases are known as bacterial diseases.
Bacteria are small forms of life that can only be seen with the help of a microscope . Contrary to many people's beliefs, bacteria are necessary for life on the planet, because bacteria play many of the fundamental functions of bacteria. ecosystems .
Bacteria are vitally important to humans, both for good and for bad. The great majority of them do not cause diseases and many bacteria are really useful and even necessary for good health (López & Berrueta, 2011).
When bacteria have a detrimental effect on the human body they often cause disease and infection. The bacteria responsible for these types of conditions are known as pathogens.
Bacterial diseases originate when pathogenic bacteria enter the body, reproduce, eliminate healthy bacteria, or grow in tissues that are normally sterile. On the other hand, pathogenic bacteria can also emit toxins that harm the body.
Some common pathogenic bacteria and the types of diseases they cause are:
- Helicobacter pylori: produces ulcers and gastritis.
- Salmonella and Escherichia coli (E coli): produce food poisoning.
- Neisseria meningitidis: generates meningitis.
- Neisseria gonorrhoeae or gonococcus: it produces the sexually transmitted disease known as gonorrhea.
- Staphylococcus aureus: causes a variety of infections in the body, including boils, abscesses, wound infections, pneumonia and food poisoning.
Streptococcal bacteria also cause various infections, including pneumonia and ear and throat infections.
10 common diseases caused by bacteria
It is important to note that bacterial diseases are contagious and can lead to many serious, life-threatening complications.
Various diseases caused by bacteria are described below, emphasizing the type of bacteria involved in each disease, its mode of infection, symptoms, treatment and preventive measures (Escuelapedia, 2017).
1 - Leprosy or Hansen's disease
It is a curable disease with timely treatment. It is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae that especially affects the skin and the peripheral nerves.
It is spread from person to person through direct and prolonged contact, according to statistics, 80% of the population have their own anti-leprosy defenses and only half of the untreated patients cause contagion.
Symptoms of leprosy can take up to 20 years to manifest and are: skin lesions, lesions that do not heal after some time, and muscle weakness with altered sensitivity in extremities.
The best way to prevent the spread of leprosy is early diagnosis and treatment of the infected person. Treatment is outpatient, including the use of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories.
There is a vaccine for people who have direct contact with the patient.
2 - Meningitis
The meningitis is an infection of the meninges, tissues that cover the brain and the spinal cord , and may be of viral or bacterial origin.
Bacterial meningitis is caused by the bacterium Neisseria, is very serious and needs immediate treatment, as it can affect the neuronal functioning of the sufferer. It is a contagious disease.
Meningitis causes high fever, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck muscles, changes in mental status, and severe headache .
In case the presence of a meningitis caused by bacteria is identified, specific antibiotics are prescribed. In some cases hospitalization of the person may be necessary, depending on the severity of the illness.
The fundamental preventive measure is to apply vaccines to infants and children, following a vaccination schedule (Lomónaco, 2017).
3 - Tuberculosis
It is a bacterial infection caused by the Mycobacterium tuberculosis germ. The bacteria attacks the lungs, but can also damage other parts of the body. It spreads through the air, when a person with pulmonary tuberculosis coughs, sneezes or talks.
Symptoms of the disease may include: severe cough that lasts three weeks or longer, fever, weight loss, weakness or fatigue, and spitting blood.
If it is not treated properly, it can be deadly. It is usually cured with several medications over a long period of time and there is a vaccine for its prevention (Steane, 2017).
4 - Cholera
Infectious disease caused by the bacteria Vibrio cholerae that multiplies in the intestine, causing vomiting and diarrhea with the consequent loss of water and mineral salts that can cause dehydration and risk of death.
This disease is acquired through contaminated food and water. It is not a contagious disease.
It is estimated that 1 in 20 people infected can develop the disease severely.
Cholera is completely curable if fluids and lost salts are readily replaced. Severe cases require intravenous fluid replacement. Antibiotics help to shorten the course of the disease and the severity of the disease.
5 - Pneumonia
It is a serious lung infection that can be of viral or bacterial origin. Bacterial pneumonia is caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae.
It is mainly acquired by the spread to the lungs of bacteria that are lodged in the nose, sinuses or mouth.
Symptoms of pneumonia may include: shortness of breath, chills, fever and sweating, chest pain and cough (dry or phlegm).
For the treatment it is recommended rest, antibiotics and medicines to relieve the symptoms. If necessary, you may require hospitalization.
Prevention measures are basically to maintain excellent hygiene and vaccination (III, 2016).
6 - Whooping cough or convulsive cough
It is a serious infection caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. It develops in the upper respiratory tract, can affect people of any age but mainly children.
The disease spreads easily from person to person when an infected person sneezes or coughs.
Its symptoms resemble those of a common cold, followed by a strong cough. Coughing episodes can lead to vomiting or a brief loss of consciousness. The risk of whooping cough should always be considered when vomiting with coughing occurs.
It is treated with antitussives and antibiotics. The pertussis vaccine is given in infants and children, called DTP, is a combination vaccine that helps protect against three diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough.
7 - Diphtheria
It is an infection caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae. Symptoms often arise gradually, beginning with sore throat, fever, weakness and swollen lymph nodes in the neck. Diphtheria is a serious bacterial infection.
It spreads through the air, it can contract from the cough or sneeze of an infected person. It can also be transmitted on contact with an object, such as a toy, contaminated with bacteria. The treatment is with antibiotics.
The DPT vaccine can also prevent diphtheria, but its protection does not last forever. Children need other doses or reinforcements around age 12.
8 - Tetanus
It is a disease caused by a toxin generated by the bacterium Clostridium tetani, which is present in the soil.
It is not transmitted from person to person; however, it can be spread through deep skin wounds or burns in any unimmunized person.
The affected person experiences spasms of the muscles of the jaw, headache, muscular tension, pains and spasms that radiate to other parts of the body.
It is treated with antibiotics and sedatives to control spasms. Immunization and vaccination schedules are required as a preventive measure.
9 - Botulism
It is a paralytic disease, infrequent but serious, caused by a toxin produced by the bacterium called Clostridium botulinum.
This toxin is found naturally in the soil. It enters the body through wounds that are infected with it, or when ingesting it in badly canned or badly preserved foods, contaminated with the toxin.
Symptoms include double blurred vision, drooping eyelids, difficulty speaking and swallowing, dry mouth and muscle weakness. The specific treatment is the administration of botulinum antitoxin, intensive therapy or surgery of infected wounds.
To avoid botulism: do not give honey or corn syrup to children under 1 year of age, discard cans that have bumps or canned foods with bad smell, seek prompt medical help for infected wounds (Medicine, 2017).
As it is a rare disease, there are no vaccination plans for the general population but the pentavalent vaccine is given to people exposed to the contagion.
10 - Leptospirosis
It is an infection that occurs when it comes in contact with the bacterium leptospira. It is not spread from person to person but by contact with infected animals, especially rats, or in fresh water contaminated by your urine.
Symptoms may take an average of 10 days to appear and range from dry cough, headache and muscle pain, fever, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, to muscle stiffness with swollen lymph nodes and enlarged spleen or liver
The prognosis is generally good. However, a complicated case can be deadly if it is not treated in time.
To prevent it, rats and mice should be removed from the environment, drains must be maintained to prevent water stagnation, especially in tropical climates.
There is a vaccine against the disease that, although it has limited scope, is recommended especially for those who carry out works of risk.
- View Forum Posts . (2017). Obtained from Diseases caused by bacteria: escuelapedia.com
- III, W.C. (November 17, 2016). Healthgrades Operating Company . Obtained from What are bacterial diseases?: healthgrades.com
- Lomónaco, M. (September 3, 2017). The Guide to Prints . Obtained from Diseases Caused by Bacteria: Types, Symptoms and Treatment: laguiadelasvitaminas.com
- López, J. M., & Berrueta, T. U. (2011). National Autonomous University of Mexico . Obtained from BACTERIAL OVERVIEW: facmed.unam.mx
- Medicine, U. N. (September 05, 2017). Medline Plus . Obtained from Botulism: medlineplus.gov
- Steane, R. (2017). Bio Topics . Retrieved from Tuberculosis: biotopics.co.uk.