What Is A Bacterial Infection? 

A bacterial infection is best described as any infection that might be as a result of bacteria. There are billions of bacteria all around us and even in our bodies. A good number of them are helpful while only less than 1% of them might make us sick. Ironically, whenever we talk about bacteria, most people only think of the bad ones! However, when bacteria make human beings or other animals sick, this becomes a “bacterial infection.” The following are some of the most common and dangerous bacterial infections that you should know about:

10 Bacterial Infections to Know About

Salmonella Enterica

This bacterial infection in stomach is the one that causes typhoid fever. It is normally found in contaminated food and water. Its incubation period is about 7-14 days, after which the symptoms of bacterial infection including headaches, fever, and diarrhea or constipation set in. It is best treated by use of strong antibiotics.

To be on the safe side, ensure that food is processed and kept in hygienic conditions. The typhoid vaccine does not provide 100% immunity against the bacterial infection in stomach.

Clostridium Tetani

What is a bacterial infection caused by this bacterium capable of? Bacterial infections by this bacterium cause tetanus. It gains entry into the body through open wounds then releases a lethal toxin called tetanospasmin. Its incubation period may last from two days to several weeks. The bacterial infection symptoms include violent spasms of the neck and jaws, pain and fever. It can be treated through sedation, taking muscle relaxing drugs, antitoxins and antibiotics.

Vibrio Cholerae

This is the bacterial infection in stomach responsible for cholera. It might be ingested into the body through infected water, mostly contaminated by human feces. Its incubation period is anything between 1-7 days. The symptoms of bacterial infection in this case include: chronic diarrhea, loss of body fluids and salts as well as dehydration. Patients must up their intake of fluids to replace what is lost. The cholera vaccine does not offer 100% protection against this type of bacterial infection. Hence maintaining proper hygiene remains your best option of controlling the disease.

Treponema Pallidum

This is the bacterium responsible for syphilis infection, which is arguably the severest sexually transmitted bacterial disease. Its first stage‘s incubation period is about 3-12 weeks and it causes lesions called “syphilis chancre” on the private organs. The bacterial infection symptoms are fever, skin eruptions, less severe hepatitis, hair loss and genital condilloma. If left untreated for long, the lesions may extend into the nervous system causing death.

It can be treated using strong antibiotics, which are usually effective during the first stages. Avoiding irresponsible sex is the surest way of avoiding this type of bacterial infection. If infected, immediate treatment is advisable.

Yersinia Pestis

This bacterium causes plague. What is a bacterial infection by Yersinia pestis like? The black plague is believed to have broken out in Europe in 1947 after a boat from Crimea arrived in Mesina, Secily. The boat is believed to have transported the pest bacterium, which is normally transmitted by fleas, among its load. The pest soon spread all through Italy and in about only four years it had wiped about a third of Europe’s population. The infection is usually passed from rats to human beings and its incubation period is about 2-10 days. Its symptoms include fever and swelling of the lymphatic ganglion as well as the skin. Currently, such bacterial infection can be treated by antibiotics.

Neisseria Bacteria

The bacterium causes gonorrhea and it is transmitted sexually. Its incubation period is about 3 days. In men, the disease causes urinary incontinence, pain in the urethra, testicle inflammation, reddening and a burning sensation in the penis. In women, it causes severe pain which may extend to the uterus and trumps. The bacterial infections can be treated using antibiotics.

Legionella Bacteria

This bacterium causes Legionnaire’s disease. The source of the bacteria is air and wet environments. Its symptoms are similar to those of pneumonia or flu, which are normally accompanied by renal failure. The bacterial infection can be treated using antibiotics. To prevent it, water and air conditioning installations should be controlled.

Koch Bacterium (Mycobacterium Tuberculosis)

This bacterium which causes tuberculosis is as old as humankind itself. It has been found even in mummies of ancient Peru and Egypt. The bacterium spreads through the air as well as milk from infected animals and it affects the whole body, especially the respiratory system. The bacterial infection symptoms are accompanied with prolonged coughing, shivering, fever, weight loss, blood expectoration, sweating, tiredness as well as glossy eyes.

TBC is treated but it can, however, not be eradicated because of the existence of multi-resistant strains and it needs a long treatment of over six months, which is likely to be interrupted before medication is over. Its treatment should also include resting, proper diet, clean air on top of medication. About 3-5% of new TBC cases are HIV co infected. Pasteurization of milk and BCG significantly reduces chances of this bacterial infection.

Bacillus Anthracic

This is a bacterium that causes acute disease in animals and humans. Some of its strains are highly lethal and are believed to be used in the bioterrorism war. Its spores have an extremely long life of up to 70 years in the soil! The bacterium can spread from human to human. However, corpses are the most dangerous sources of the disease’s spores. It attacks the immune system releasing toxins into the blood stream in the process destroying tissues and causing massive internal hemorrhage and eventually death. If the antibiotics are not administered earlier, they may kill the bacteria but still the infected person may die from the toxins.

The bacterium can be passed from infected animals, and their products including wool, skin and meat. And it enters the human body through the intestines, skin or lungs. Its treatment includes large doses of intravenous as well as oral antibiotics. However, a few days delay might make the bacterial infection untreatable.

Aeromonas Hydrophila

This is the bacterium that causes pneumonia. The symptoms of bacterial infection include: sweating, fever, cough with expectoration, shivering, headache, thoracic and muscle pain, weakness and loss of appetite. It can be treated using antibacterial drugs. It might also need physiotherapy, oxygen as well as liquids supply. Patients with the simple type of the disease can get healed within 2-3 weeks. Its vaccine is effective against its most common complications.


Most of the diseases caused by a bacterial infection can be treated using the right antibiotics if discovered early enough. The particular type of antibiotic will always depend on the type of bacteria that causes the infection. If the doctor prescribes antibiotics for a bacterial infection, taking the medication exactly as directed is paramount so as to avoid antibiotic resistance.


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