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Infections Caused by Bacteria

What Is the Precise Definition of Bacteria?

Bacteria can be defined as microscopic organisms that may infiltrate the body and cause illnesses. This infiltration causes your body to launch a defensive immunological response.

There are so many bacteria that are helpful to us. These bacteria are called good bacteria. They help in digesting food and defending your body against dangerous microorganisms.

Infections Caused by Bacteria

Symptoms Of Bacterial Infections

A bacterial illness may affect both children and adults of any age. Infections caused by bacteria can occur in any part of the body. They occur in:

  • Bladder
  • Brain
  • Intestines
  • Lungs
  • Skin

A bacterial infection may also spread throughout the bloodstream, resulting in septicemia, a potentially fatal blood infection. This, in turn, may lead to sepsis, a disease caused by your body's overreaction to an infection.

As a consequence of a bacterial infection, you may have widespread symptoms. Fever, chills, and weariness are examples of generalized symptoms that impact the whole body.

Localized Signs and Symptoms

A bacterial infection may also cause localized symptoms (local consequences). These symptoms are particular to the affected location or portions of the body. Localized symptoms include pain, edema, redness, and organ dysfunction. Bacterial infections often cause pain. A bacterial skin infection may cause discomfort on the skin. Breathing might be painful if you have a lung infection. In addition, an intestinal (or bowel) infection may cause abdominal (stomach) discomfort.

When you have a bacterial infection, your inside organs might become inflamed and swollen. You might immediately observe redness or swelling on visible body regions, such as the skin, neck, or ears. Although you cannot see it, you may experience pain or other symptoms in these areas.

Consider bacteria infecting the respiratory system of humans. This bacterium will target the bronchi, lungs, and throat. The symptoms arising from such infections could be wet cough with thick mucus.

Bacterial infections may impair or change the capacity of the afflicted bodily component to function. Meningitis (an infection around the brain) may affect focus. Pyelonephritis (a kidney infection) has the potential to impair kidney function.

Timings Of Bacterial Infection

Bacteria infections do not show their effect all at once. In other words, bacterial infections do not show their symptoms during the initial infection. Rather, they have a proper incubation period, and the infection progressively increases with time.

Causes Of Bacterial Infection

Bacterial infections are caused by the transmission (passing) of bacteria. Bacteria can get entry into a person's body in many ways. Inhaling contaminated droplets from the air, eating contaminated food, and drinking bad water are some of examples of transmission. When exposed to microorganisms, anybody may get ill. On the other hand, a weaker immune system puts you at greater risk of serious bacterial infections.

Certain medical disorders and drugs might weaken your immune system. Bacteria usually found in your body might also put you in danger.

Different Types of Bacterial Infections

The severity of bacterial infections varies greatly and is determined by the kind of bacteria involved.

Some bacterial infections are very mild and hence do not cause any life-threatening situation. Examples of such infections include ear infections or throat infections. However, bacterial infections may induce potentially fatal illnesses such as meningitis and encephalitis.

  • A very common bacterial infection is food poisoning which Salmonella causes. Eating undercooked chicken is a popular way to get infected. Severe stomach discomfort, diarrhea, and vomiting are among the symptoms. Nontyphoidal salmonellae bacteria cause Salmonella. These bacteria are present in the Gastrointestinal tracts of animals.
  • Escherichia coli (E. coli) may also induce gastrointestinal upset. Although the illness normally resolves on its own, it may be severe or even deadly at times. E. Coli bacteria may spread via contaminated food, particularly raw vegetables.
  • Tuberculosis is a highly infectious illness caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It often results in a lung infection.
  • Many bacteria have developed bacterial resistance. A good example under this category is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). It's quite harmful, particularly for persons with weakened immune systems.
  • An example of harmless bacteria found in our intestines is Clostridium difficile (C. diff). However, antibiotic usage or a compromised immune system might lead to an excess of these bacteria. This results in a GI infection with an inflamed colon and recurrent diarrhea.
  • Bacteria cause different lung infections. One of the most prevalent lung infections is pneumonia, caused by several bacteria like Streptococcus pneumoniae, Klebsiellapneumoniae, or Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Infections are spread by airborne particles caused by coughing or sneezing.
  • Bacteria are also responsible for causing vaginal infections. It is caused by vaginosis, and its symptoms include itching, discharge, and painful urination. The main reason for the vaginal infection is the unexpected rise in the bacterial cells in the vaginal tract. They make the area acidic.
  • Bacterial species are also responsible for causing ulcers and stomach infections. The most common example includes Heliobacter pylori (H. pylori). It causes stomach inflammation and stomach ulcers. This bacterial infection is more likely caused by acid reflux, acidity, and smoking. They could also result in chronic illness.
  • Bacteria are also responsible for causing STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). One such disease caused by bacteria is Gonorrhea. It is an infection spread via sexual contact, and the bacteria responsible are Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
  • Vibrio vulnificus is a rare "flesh-eating" bacterium that may be discovered in warm saltwater.

The pattern of your symptoms might assist your doctor in diagnosing your bacterial infection. Your symptoms' location, timing, and intensity may indicate a bacterial infection. Before giving any medication, your doctor may want to confirm the diagnosis. They confirm the diagnosis through a simple test run on the patient's sample. The sample could be anything where the bacterial colony is present. It could be pus, sputum, mucus, etc. These samples are sent to a laboratory for analysis.

Alternatively, they might send in a swab sample for testing. They may swab your throat, ear, or diseased skin regions to do so. A urine sample may detect bacterial illnesses in the bladder and kidney. A stool sample may aid in determining the bacterial source of chronic GI distress.

Blood Examinations

Blood testing may sometimes help detect infectious germs. An increase in the patient's WBC (White Blood Cells) is seen during bacterial illness. Different tests are present for the analysis of WBCs in the human body. One such test is a complete blood count (CBC) blood test, which identifies a high WBCs count.

But it isn't all. Your doctor may also order a CBC with differential. This test determines if particular kinds of WBCs in your blood have risen. WBCs of various sorts collaborate to protect your body against infections. Furthermore, various illnesses cause a rise in distinct kinds of WBCs. As a result, your doctor may use this data pattern to determine which virus you have.

Imaging Research

Bacterial abscesses may be caused by infectious microorganisms (an enclosed, pus-filled area). Apart from sample tests, other techniques can be used to diagnose the patients for bacterial infections. For example, in case of an abscess in or near the internal organs, doctors can do an imaging scan to identify it. An X-ray, for example, may aid in the diagnosis of pneumonia.

Other Pathogenic Organisms

Infections may be caused by species other than bacteria. Examples include viruses, parasites, protozoa, fungus, worms, and prions (infectious proteins).

Viruses are 10 to 100 times smaller than bacteria, although parasites, protozoa, and fungus are bigger. Under a microscope, each of these creatures seems unique. As a result, it's not surprising that they act differently throughout the body.

Parasites, for example, have a convoluted life cycle. The eggs first enter the body and hatch. They may then evolve into infectious, worm-like creatures that infiltrate human tissue. Fungi, on the other hand, are often long-lasting, slow-growing diseases.

Treatments Of Bacterial Infections

Bacterial infections often resolve on their own without therapy. To treat your bacterial infection, you may need prescribed antibiotics. Bacterial infections that go untreated may spread and cause serious health consequences. Although it is uncommon, untreated bacterial infections may be fatal.

An infection may cause fever, discomfort, swelling, coughing, and dehydration symptoms. Your doctor may advise you to seek supportive treatment (like anti-inflammatory medication) in this scenario.


The presence of bacteria guides which antibiotic will be given to the patient. Different antibiotics influence different bacteria. Most antibiotics are effective against more than one species of bacterium, but not all of them. Antibiotics may be taken in a variety of ways. They can be taken orally, that is, through the mouth or eyes, or they can also be taken intravenously.

If your doctor prescribes an antibiotic, be sure you take it exactly as prescribed. Do not, for example, apply a skin antibiotic to your eyes. It is important to take your medication precisely as directed and for the whole period of your prescription.

Helping Hands

Your doctor may prescribe pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs may help you deal with the discomfort and swelling caused by your bacterial infection.

Usually, fever-lowering medicines are prescribed in case the symptom is a fever. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) help lower fevers, edema, and discomfort.

Cough medicine is given to patients who show cough as an infection symptom. You may also need IV fluids if you are getting dehydrated.


If you have an abscess, surgery may be required to treat it. This is a simple procedure for a superficial skin abscess. However, an abscess located deep within the body, such as the brain or intestines, may necessitate more extensive surgery to remove.


Bacterial infections are quite widespread and vary greatly from one another. The kind of bacteria involved and its source, location, and time all have an impact on the course of your illness.

Even symptoms differ greatly. Some infections might progress and result in serious problems. Even diagnostic and treatment choices are affected by the kind of illness you have.

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