Diseases Caused by Bacteria | Their Causes & Symptoms

Diseases caused by bacteria have been responsible for many deaths worldwide for centuries. Here you will find the list of diseases in a tabular form and details of some important ones.

Diseases Caused by Bacteria

Unlike those diseases caused by microorganisms like fungi and protozoa, these bacterial infections are deadly. If left untreated, most of them lead to death or severe disability.

Some of them infect seasonally, like in rainy or winter seasons. In comparison, others attack due to contamination from one person to another.

Few of them, like plague and cholera, spread as epidemics and can wipe out the human population if uncontrolled.

A list of diseases caused by bacteria in humans are

  1. Tuberculosis
  2. Typhoid
  3. Cholera
  4. Dysentery
  5. Gastric ulcer
  6. Pneumonia
  7. Diphtheria
  8. Plague
  9. Leprosy
  10. Gonorrhea. etc.

Tuberculosis: One of the most long-standing and widely distributed bacterial diseases in human history. It is tough to cure this disease. The bacteria, namely Mycobacterium tuberculosis, cause it. It primarily infects the lungs, bones, abdomen, and brain. If infected, the person has to be treated rigorously. In most cases, a combination of anti-tubercular drugs is given over 6 months to 1 year.

Diseases Caused by Bacteria

Weight loss, chronic cough, fever, weakness, lack of appetite, etc.

Causes: The bacteria are spread by sneezing droplets and air. But the microbe can be latent in humans and can produce disease when the immune system is compromised.

Typhoid: An infection caused by the bacteria Salmonella typhi. It is caused mostly by contaminated water and food from outside.

Symptoms:  Fever, weakness, vomiting, etc.

Cholera: An epidemic infection caused by the bacteria Vibrio cholera. Cholera was a severe epidemic that caused devastating loss of human life in many parts of the world. Currently, this disease is almost non-existent, but still, cases are reported in areas with unsafe drinking water.

Symptoms: Acute diarrhea, Rice watery stools, weakness. Persons tend to die in a day or two if untreated.

Causes: Lack of safe drinking water and sanitation.

Dysentery: An intestinal infection affecting both children and adults. Bacteria like Shigella and Enteroinvasive Escherichia coli cause it.

Symptoms: Severe pain in the abdomen, loose motions, weakness, and fever.

Causes: Water contamination.

Gastric Ulcer: Gastric ulcers are caused by many factors like excess acid secretion, stress, etc. But there is also a bacteria, namely Helicobacter pyroli, at the site of the ulcer. Though one takes treatment for ulcers, the problem is not solved unless antibiotics kill the bacteria.

Diseases Caused by Bacteria
By: Y_tambe /creativecommons.org

The interesting concept is the stomach region is highly acidic due to the secretion of hydrochloric acid. The pH can be up to 1.5, and any microbe that enters the gut through food is mostly killed by acidic action. But this bacteria is so specialized that it secretes ammonia which is basic in nature, and thus neutralizes the pH in the stomach around it. Hence it can stay in the stomach for many years until killed by antibiotics.

Symptoms: Acidity, bloating of the stomach, gas formation.

Causes: Contaminated drinking water.

Pneumonia: It is an infection of the lungs caused by Streptococcus Pneumonia.

Symptoms: Difficult breathing, cough, and fever.

Cause: Common cold and flu.

Leprosy: It is a granulomatous infection caused by mycobacteria lepra. It is spread from person to person by touch in most cases.

Symptoms: Inflammation, itching, Scars, loss of appendages of hands, etc.

Gonorrhea: A sexually transmitted disease caused by Neisseria gonorrhea. It occurs in both males and females. Causes infection in the genitals, rectum, throat, etc.

Symptoms: Burning sensation during urination, Yellow or white discharge, bleeding, swelling of testicles, etc.

Causes: It is caused by unprotective sex with those who have this infection.

Diphtheria: Is caused by Corynebacterium diphtheriae

Symptoms: a Sore throat, Fever, headache

Plague: A contagious bacterial infection caused due to bacteria Yersinia pestis.

Diseases Caused by Bacteria
Credit: Washington State University

Symptoms: Fever, headache, weakness, swelling of lymph nodes, etc.

Other bacterial diseases in humans include

Face– Acne or pimples are caused by Propionibacterium acnes.

Ear: Otitis is an ear infection caused by pneumococcus, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis.

Eyes: Conjunctivitis is an eye infection leading to soreness in the eyes. Caused by Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria-like bacteria.

Brain: Meningitis is an infection of the brain’s meninges (covering layers). It is caused by Neisseria meningitidis, Streptococcus pneumonia, Haemophilus influenza, etc.

Heart: Endocarditis- an inflammation of the lining of the heart caused by Staphylococcus aureus, streptococci, and Pseudomonas species. This heart disease is risky as the infection spreads from the throat to the heart or from any other place.

Urinary tract: Nephritis and prostatitis are an inflammation of the nephrons and prostate gland, respectively.

Sex organs: Syphilis is caused by Treponema palladium bacteria, another sexually transmitted disease.

Blood: Tetanus by streptococcus tetani.

Bacteria cause diseases both in plants and animals and are spread all over the world. And in plants, they cause huge losses to farmers.

A list of diseases caused by bacteria in Plants include

The blight of paddy, citrus canker, angular leaf spot in cotton, Tumors in plants, rot in vegetables, etc.

The human population drastically declined due to the plague epidemic for centuries in the past. The bacteria infection deranges the host physiology and is life-threatening.

Common symptoms like fever and weakness are observed in the host. If not treated in time, the infection can be fatal.

However, modern medicine has drugs in the form of antibiotics to effectively treat bacterial diseases.

Based on the above list, bacteria appear extremely harmful to us. But many beneficial bacteria are helpful to our life

Also, see the diseases caused by fungi and viruses.

Sl.NoDiseaseCausative bacteria
1 Anthrax Bacillus anthracis
2Whooping coughBordetella pertussis
3ChancroidHemophilus ducreyi
4pneumoniaActinomyces Israeli
5LeprosyMycobacterium lepra
6ActinomycosisActinomyces israeli
7MeningitisEscherichia Coli, Hemophylus influenza,
8Diphtheria Corynebacterium diphtheria
9PlagueYersinia pestos
10Endocarditis (bacterial)Staphylococcus aureus, streptococcus viridians.

Leave a comment

Leave a Comment