UKPCS Science Life Sciences-Microbial-infection- Bacterial diseases : #124

Bacterial diseases

Bacteria are the causes of human and animal disease . However, certain bacteria, the actinomycetes, produce antibiotics such as streptomycin ; others live symbiotically in the guts of animals (including humans) or elsewhere in their bodies, or on the roots of certain plants, converting nitrogen into a usable form. Bacteria put the tang in yogurt and the sour in sourdough bread; bacteria help to break down dead organic matter; bacteria make up the base of the food web in many environments. Bacteria are of such immense importance because of their extreme flexibility, capacity for rapid growth and reproduction, and great age – the oldest fossils known, nearly 3.5 billion years old, are fossils of bacteria-like organisms.

Basic knowledge of infection caused by bacteria (bacterial diseases):-

Bacterial diseases 



  • abdominal cramps
  • abdominal pains
  • urgency to go to the toilet
  • frequent passing of loose, watery faeces
  • nausea


Hand washing is one of the most effective ways of preventing the spread of viruses and bacteria that can cause diarrhoea. You should always wash your hands thoroughly after using the toilet, changing nappies, and before meals.

The following rules when preparing food can also help prevent diarrhoea:

  • Always put foods that could spoil in the fridge
  • Ensure that meat is cooked thoroughly
  • Avoid eating raw meats, fish, and shellfish unless you are sure that they have been freshly prepared and are from a reliable source
  • Never place cooked meet on surfaces or plates that have held raw meat
  • Disinfect bench tops, stove tops, and chopping boards with a diluted bleach solution.


Dysentery is a painful intestinal that is usually caused by bacteria and parasite. Dysentery is defined as diarrhoea ,in which there is blood,pus,mucous,usually accompanied by abdominal pain.

Two types of dysentery:

Amoebic dysentery: single celled parasite.

Bacillary dysentery: invasive bacteria ex:- E.coli


  • a slight stomach-ache
  • cramping
  • diarrhea
  • intermittent  constipation


Anti parasitic antibiotic such as: iodoquinol, are commonly used to treat dysentery caused by amoebiasis.

Dysentery mostly stems from poor hygiene

To reduce the risk of infection, people should wash their hands regularly with soap and water, especially before and after using the bathroom and preparing food.

  • Only drink reliably sourced water, such as bottled water
  • Watch the bottle being opened, and clean the top of the rim before drinking
  • Make sure food is thoroughly cooked

It is best to use purified water to clean the teeth, and avoid ice cubes, as the source of the water may be unknown.



If symptoms appear, they will do so between 12 hours and 5 days after exposure.

They typically include:

  • Large volumes of explosive watery diarrhoea, sometimes called “rice water stools” because it can look like water that has been used to wash rice
  • Vomiting
  • Leg cramps

A person with cholera can quickly lose fluids, up to 20 liters a day, so severe dehydration and shock can occur.


Cholera is often spread through food and because of poor hygiene. Some simple measures can reduce the risk of contracting cholera.

When travelling in areas where the disease is endemic, it is important to:

  • Eat only fruit you have peeled
  • Avoid salads, raw fish, and uncooked vegetables
  • Ensure that food is thoroughly cooked
  • Make sure water is bottled or boiled and safe to consume
  • Avoid street food, as this can carry cholera and other diseases


  • Tuberculosis


While latent TB is symptomless, the symptoms of active TB include the following:

  • Coughing, sometimes with mucus or blood
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Loss of weight
  • Loss of appetite
  • Night sweats
  • TB infecting the bones can lead to spinal pain and joint destruction
  • TB infecting the brain can cause meningitis
  • TB infecting the liver and kidneys can impair their waste filtration functions and lead to blood in the urine
  • TB infecting the heart can impair the heart’s ability to pump blood, resulting in a condition called cardiac tamponade that can be fatal


A few general measures can be taken to prevent the spread of active TB.

Avoiding other people by not going to school or work, or sleeping in the same room as someone, will help to minimize the risk of germs from reaching anyone else.

Wearing a mask, covering the mouth, and ventilating rooms can also limit the spread of bacteria.

  • TB vaccination

In some countries, BCG injections are given to children to vaccinate them against tuberculosis. It is not recommended for general use in the U.S. because it is not effective in adults, and it can adversely influence the results of skin testing diagnoses.


  • Dengue


Primary symptoms of dengue appear three to 15 days after the mosquito bite and include the following:

> high fever and severe headache,with severe pain behind the eyes that is apparent when trying to move the eyes.

>joint pain,muscle and bone pain,rash,and mild bleeding.


  • Exclusion from childcare, preschool, school or work is usually not necessary but people experiencing fever from dengue infection should not be in an environment where they may be bitten by mosquitoes. If this is not possible they should stay at home until they have no fever and are therefore no longer infectious (usually 3 to 5 days).
  • There is no vaccine to prevent human infection by this virus.
  • Personal protection and the environmental management of mosquitoes are important in preventing illness.
  • Prevent access of mosquitoes to an infected person with a fever.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times in dengue areas.



  • Malaria

Malaria is a life-threatening disease. It’s typically transmitted through the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. Infected mosquitoes carry the Plasmodium parasite. When this mosquito bites you, the parasite is released into your bloodstream.


  • shaking chills that can range from moderate to severe
  • high fever
  • profuse sweating
  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting


There’s no vaccine available to prevent malaria.

Sleeping under a mosquito net may help prevent being bitten by an infected mosquito.

Covering your skin or using bug sprays containing DEET may also help prevent infection.

If you’re unsure if malaria is prevalent in your area, the CDC has an up-to-date map of where malaria can be found.


  • Scrub Typhus

Scrub typhus is caused by a bacterium called Rickettsia bacteria

Fleas,Mites,Lice,Tiks transmit it when they bite you.

When injected arthropods bites someone ,they leave the bacteria that cause typhus behind .Scrathing the bite opens the skin and allows the bacteria to enter the blood stream once in the blood stream,the bacteria reproduce and grow .


Swollen lymph nodes

High fever




Red lesion


Maintaining personal hygiene .

Avoiding travel to regions whereas typhus exposure has occurred ,or to contraries that are high risk due to sanitation.

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