Diseases Caused by Bacteria
Bacteria are prokaryotes and unicellular. Many bacteria are free living but at the same time there are parasitic bacteria which cause disease, in humans, animals and plants. The human bacterial diseases can be classified in four types based on the mode of infection:
- Airborne: Tuberculosis, pneumonia, Diphtheria, meningitis, whooping cough.
- Food and waterborne: Cholera, typhoid, Botulism, Shigellosis.
- Soilborne: Tetanus, Botulism.
- Sexually transmitted: Syphilis, Gonorrhea.
Types of Bacterial Diseases
Mode of Infection
Tuberculosis, Pneumonia, Diphtheria, Meningitis, Whooping Cough
Food and Waterborne
Cholera, Typhoid, Botulism, Shigellosis
Diseases and Causative Agent
Tuberculosis causative agent is Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. It is a severe respiratory disease characterized by degenerative structures called tubercelles in the lungs.
- Symptoms are severe cough, fever, weight loss, plegm blood and night sweats. Internal body organs like liver and spleen are also infected.
- Treatment involves administration of Isoniazid, Rifampin, Pyrazinamide, Ethambutol.
Pneumonia Causative agent streptococcus pneumonia. Those with weak immune system and with diseases like diabetes and AIDS are infected.
- Symptoms include swelling of alveoli, chest pain, difficulty in breathing.
- Treatment involves administration of penicillin G and cefotaxime.
Botulism causative agent is Clostridium Botulinum. Bacterial endospores develop in digestive system and release botulinum toxin.
Symptoms include headache, stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing and speaking and in extreme cases causes paralysis and death.
Botulism is treated with botulinum antitoxin.
Cholera causative agent vibrio cholera. The bacteria develops in small intestine and release the toxins. Choleragen and Choleratoxin which stimulate fluid and ion loss from intestine and blood.
Symptoms include sudden diarrhea, dehydration, acidosis in the blood comes and finally death.
Treatment includes oral and intravenous administration of fluids and tetracycline antibiotic.
Tetanus causative agent is clostridium tetani. The endospores of the bacterium enter the body through injury and release a toxin tetanospasmin which stimulates the release of neurotransmitters.
Symptoms include rigidity in the muscle. Lock jaw, congestion in the chest, difficulty in breathing and finally death.
Treatment involves administration of Anti Tetanus Serum.
Gonorrhoea is caused by bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The bacterium develops in the urinary tract of both males and females and may also affect reproductive system in females.
Symptoms include burning sensation and pain during urination. In female the fallopian tubes are blocked leading to obstruction to the normal menstrual cycle. The bacteria also infects eyes and throat.
Treatment involves administration of penicillin G and Probenecid.
Syphilis is caused by Treponema pallidum. The pathogen enters the body through hair follicles of the skin.
Symptoms include painless reddened ulcers on the skin, rashes and loss of hair in the form of patches, fever, infection to nervous and circulatory system and in extreme cases paralysis, mental retardness areother symptoms.
Treatment includes administration of Penicillin G and Streptomycin.
Prevention of Bacterial Diseases
- Everyone should maintain personal health and hygiene.
- Wearing gloves and masks is recommended when airborne diseases are highly prevalent.
- When people come in contact with respiratory secretions of infected person, they should wash their hands immediately.
- Affected children should not be sent to school.
- Contaminated food and water should be avoided.
- Systemic hand washing should be practiced and promoted.
- Drinking water should be boiled, cooled and filtered before used.
- The food industry should strictly adopt to healthy and safe food processing practices.
- Use of contraceptives, adopting of strict monogamy, avoiding multiple sex partners, providing enough information to adolescent boys and girls are important preventive measures for sexually transmitted infections.
- Awareness about the modes of infection, preventive measures should be created among general public regularly via both print and electronic media.