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Human Disease Causing Bacteria
Bacteria, one among the group of micro organisms like virus, protozoa and fungi, is universal in nature. It is found to be present in air, water and soil, the basic elements of life closely associated with all living organisms. Prevailing both in the internal and external environment bacteria constitute both beneficial and pathogenic microbes. Gut of humans have abundant micro flora playing vital role benefiting the humans are the examples of beneficial bacteria. Some of the bacteria present in the environment are fair enough to cause disease in plants, animals and humans and they are called as pathogens. These pathogenic bacteria are different for humans, plants and animals. Human pathogenic bacteria gain entry into the body through various routes and causes disease. The ability of the bacteria to enter the human body and their potential to generate toxins (exotoxins and endotoxins) are the two basic factors determining the pathogenicity of the bacteria. There is some deadly bacterial diseases created history of epidemics. Cholera and plague are the best examples of bacterial epidemic diseases. The deadly diseases associated with the pathogenic bacteria led to the development of various antibiotics and vaccines.

With that knowledge of pathogenic bacteria let us see some of the common bacterial disease caused by different pathogenic bacteria, the nature of the bacteria, types of disease, route of entry and available treatment methods and best preventive measures.

1. Bacillus anthracis: This is Gram positive, rod shaped, endospore forming bacteria. It is either transferred from animals like sheep and goat to humans on coming in contact with such animals or enters the human body on an instance of inhaling air contaminated with Bacillus spores or gain entry by penetrating skin on physical contact with the organism. Bacillus anthracis is known to cause multiple diseases like cutaneous anthrax, pulmonary anthrax and Gastro intestinal anthrax. Treatment is ensured with drugs like penicillin, Doxycycline and ciprofloxacin. Even anthrax vaccine is available to protect from the disease. Also there is some evidence of using this deadly spore as bio weapon.

2. Vibrio cholerae : Vibrio cholerae is a gram negative, comma shaped bacteria causative agent for the epidemic disease cholera. The main source of this bacterium is contaminated food and water and gains direct entry into the body of the person consuming the contaminated food or water. It causes fluid loss of the body by inducing watery diarrhea and vomit. Fluid substitution through oral or intravenous rehydration is the best way to manage the disease cholera along with some antibiotics like erythromycin, tetracycline and chloramphenicol. Cholera vaccination with Dukoral is the best preventive method.

3. Escherichia coli: This is Gram negative, rod shaped bacteria and is considered as the indicator organism in checking the water for contamination. Water contaminated with fecal matter is known to have E coli and drinking contaminated water causes severe diarrhea. Rehydration with electrolytes and taking antibiotics helps to manage the condition once acquired. Proper washing of hands with disinfectants after using wash rooms and drinking purified water are the basic hygienic way of developing protection from infection. The one more strain of E coli called as enteropathogenic E coli is known to be transferred from mother to the fetus causing diarrhea in the newborn.

4. Clostridium botulinum: Gram positive, rod shaped, spore forming bacteria gains entry into the human body through contaminated food like vegetables and meat and is known to produce a toxin which is vulnerable on nerve causing paralysis. Treating the patient with antitoxin derived from horse anti serum is possible. Ensuring standard food preservation methods is a way to prevent the infection.

5. Chlamydia trachomatis: This Gram negative bacteria is sexually transmitted and known to cause conditions like urethritis, pelvic inflammation, ectopic pregnancy, conjunctivitis of new born and so on. Antibiotics like erythromycin, doxycyclin, azithromycin are prescribed to infected patients. Safe and protective sex is the suggested way of preventing the infection.

6. Salmonella typhi: The causative agent of typhoid fever is a gram negative bacilli transferred to humans either through contaminated food and water or through human to human interaction. Antibiotics and vaccination are available and standard hygiene keeps the bacteria away.

7. Streptococcus pneumonia: Gram positive spherical shaped bacteria cause Pneumonia and meningitis in the infected person. It is transferred between humans through respiratory droplets. Children infected with this bacterium develop sinusitis. Penicillin G and vancomycin are the available antibiotics.

8. Yersinia pestis: Gram negative, tiny rod shaped bacteria is transferred to humans from animals via flies or by consuming infected animal meat or through respiratory droplets. Plague is the disease caused by this bacterium and though antibiotics are available, developing a barrier between humans – rodents and human –flies and taking vaccination is the best way to prevent the infection.

Following standard preventive measures is the best way of protecting human race from these bacterial infections than depending on the antibiotics after acquiring the infection as some of these pathogenic bacteria were identified with resistance to antibiotics.
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Though it is fact that microorganism can infect us and can cause us deadly diseases, but at the same time it is also possible to get rid of them by different ways. One of the ways is to stop them in their way before they infect, establish within our body and make us sick.
Let us know how with changes in our habit, we can prevent from being infected. Our few practices can prevent infections of deadly microorganisms in our body.
Washing hands is one of the most important and easiest ways to get rid of germs. This is easy and most effective way of prevention. To ensure that all the germs on hands are killed, one should wash hands with soap and water for not less than 15-20 seconds. Hand washing should be done before making food items and eating.
The spread of pathogens takes place with coughing, sneezing etc, therefore spread and cross infection can be prevented, if one wash hands regularly after coughing, sneezing.
One of the greatest tools in prevention of diseases is vaccines. Today many vaccines are available in market which not only increases our immunity against specific pathogens but also save our lives in case of infections. Therefore one should ensure that all vaccinations schedule is strictly followed. Also many new vaccines are coming in market after FDA approvals which can help adults and old age peoples also. Vaccines prevent us from diseases like measles, whooping cough, meningitis, chicken pox etc.
Someone rightly said “a stitch in time saves nine”. A good habit of prevention of disease can save lifes.
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Heart disease causes are many and varied. Among the most common are those caused by lifestyle changes that can be easily managed, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising, managing your weight so that it stays within the healthy range, and keeping up on family risk factors for heart disease, thus the need to work with your doctor to minimize or even eliminate them.
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Bacteria that can cause disease in humans must have a certain characteristic as it interacts with its living host, whether plant, insect, or animal. This type of pathogenicity of microbes is expressed by means of their virulence and its degree of pathogenicity is determined by its structural, biochemical, or genetic features.

The host, the pathogen involved, and the disease probability are dependent on both resistance of the former and the virulence of the pathogen as it combats with the host’s defense systems. For it to prove its pathogenicity, it must follow entrance, adherence, and cause damage to the host.

There are two specific mechanisms involved in bacterial pathogenicity, these are:
1. Invasiveness – ability to access or penetrate body tissues. Associated with it are colonization which consists of adherence and its initial multiplication, production of invasins by extracellular substances, and the bypassing of the hosts defenses. In simpler terms, it is the tendency of the pathogen to spread into healthy tissue.
2. Toxigenesis – ability to generate toxins. Both endotoxins and exotoxins are produced in this manner. Endotoxins are cell-related substances, where they are commonly located at the outer membrane of certain gram-negative bacteria. Exotoxins on the other hand are being released from the bacterial cell itself and act on its surrounding tissue areas. When such toxins are produced, bacteria then act as “poison” since they cause cytotoxic effects to tissues. Toxins spread by invading lymph and blood vessels.

Some other pathogenic diseases and the bacteria responsible are as follows:
• Lyme Disease – Borrelia burgdorferi
• Whooping Cough – Bordetella pertussis
• Acute Enteritis – Campylobacter jejuni
• Tetanus – Clostridium tetani
• Diphtheria – Corynebacterium diphtheria
• Peptic Ulcer – Helicobacter pylori
• Legionnaire’s Disease – Legionella pneumophilia
• Leptospirosis – Leptospira interrogans
• Leprosy – Mycobacterium leprae
• Tuberculosis – Mycobacterium tuberculosis
• Gonorrhea – Neisseria gonorrhoeae
• Shigellosis – Shigella sonnei
• Syphilis – Treponema pallidum
Lyka Candelario, RN
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[b]Beware of the deadly infection by CRE species !![/b]

Of late some of the pathogens belonging to the Enterobacteriacea family have become immune to antibiotics especially the drug carbapenem which led to the development and prevalence of the deadly infection named as Carbapenem resistant Enterobacteriacea (CRE) infection.

The main pathogen behind CRE infection identified so far include Klebsiella pneumonia which has shown resistance to the antibiotic carbapenem. The severity of the infection can be well understood by the fact that the antibiotic Carbapenem is the last line of defence used against any bacterial infection and any bacteria which is immune to this antibiotic is considered deadly as there are no other available antibiotic to control the infection causing bacterium.

The mechanism of resistance towards antibiotics is developed by synthesis of some enzymes by the particular strain which inhibits the effect of Carbapenem thus becoming carbapenem resistant. Examples of such enzymes include Klebsiella pneumonia carbapenemase (KPC), New Delhi Metallo -beta lactamase (NDM), VIM and IMP.

CRE infection is mainly considered as hospital oriented infection where the patients who are on mechanical breathing supporter, patients with urinal catheter or IV catheter are the susceptible groups. As most of the Enterobacteriacea species habitats human gut and if they become the primary source of infection by proving its Carbapenem resistance there is always chance of this strain being entering blood stream and other parts of the body. The infectious strain entering the blood stream of the patient proves to be fatal.

Anyone can contract the CRE infection by being exposed to the infectant or by coming in contact with the infected patients feces and unhealed wounds. Once detected with CRE infection the patient must be isolated from the group and treated. The attending physicians should ensure their safety by adopting practices like use of sterile gloves, mask, over-coats and washing hands pre and post visits to the patient. Also the hospitals should ensure good hygienic practices and disinfection methods. The infected person should maintain a good hygiene and follow his/ hers health providers advice to overcome the situation.

The common ailments recorded as result of CRE infection include urinary tract infection, pneumonia, blood related infections and infections of the accidental or surgical wounds.

Tracking CRE infection at the earliest will enable the control of the infection. Also by maintaining the patient records (which should include the information on previous episode of hospitalization outside the country or medical service like surgery received outside the country) will help to track the infection.

Of now the evidence of CRE infection is recorded in United States and in some of the European and Asian countries.

The cleverer the humans are in developing drugs the more cleverest becomes the microbes causing challenges like life threatening CRE infections.
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Human Bacterial Disease by Gram Positive  Cocci:

Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS):

The pathogenic species is Staphylococcus aureus (aure = gold, golden), which causes most hospital-acquired infections. Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that is a member of the Firmicutes, and is frequently found in the human respiratory tract and on the skin. Although S. aureus is not always pathogenic, it is a common cause of skin infections (e.g. boils), respiratory disease (e.g. sinusitis), and food poisoning. Multiple-drug-resistant strains have develop into such a difficulty due to overuse of antibiotics. Also, keeping your skin too “clean” can wash away the natural “antibiotics” in skin oils, actually making you more susceptible to bacterial infections.


This is a diplococcus Streptococcus pneumoniae: (pneumo = lungs) which infects the lungs, causing pneumonia, and is spread by coughing.  Streptococcus pneumoniae, or pneumococcus, is a alpha-hemolytic, aerotolerant, anaerobic member of the genusStreptococcus. A significant human pathogenic bacterium, S. pneumoniae was recognized as a major cause of pneumonia in the late 19th century, and is the subject of many humoral immunity studies.

Drug for gram positive cocci:

Penicillin is successful for most of these, except where do to excess has caused resistant strains. This is particularly a problem with S. aureus in hospitals.

Human Bacterial Disease by Gram negative Cocci:


Neisseria gonorrhoeae (redirect from Neisseria gonorrhea) is a species of Gram-negative coffee bean -shaped diplococci bacteria responsible for the sexually transmitted infection gonorrhea.  (gono = seed, generation, offspring; rrhea = flow, current) This disease is a sexually-transmitted disease (STD), and is caused by a bacterium of this type. One symptom is a pussy discharge from the genital area.


Meningitis is an acute inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, known collectively as the meninges. The inflammation may be caused by infection with bacteria, or other microorganisms (meninges, meninx = a membrane [around the brain]; -itis = inflammation) This is an infection of the membranes covering the brain and/or spinal cord, and is life-threatening because of proximity of these membranes to the brain/spine.
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