Diseases Caused by Bacteria | Their Causes & Symptoms

Diseases caused by bacteria are responsible for many deaths in the world since many centuries. Here you find the list of diseases in a tabular form and also 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 winters seasons. While others attack due to contamination from one person to another.

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

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 disease in human history. It is very hard to cure this disease. It is caused by the bacteria namely Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It mostly infects the lungs, bones, abdomen and also the brain. If infected, the person has to be treated rigorously. In most cases, a combination of anti-tubercular drugs is given for over a period of 6 months to 1 year.

Diseases Caused by Bacteria

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

Causes: The bacteria is 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 due to contaminated water and outside food.

Symptoms:  Fever, weakness, vomiting etc.

Cholera: An epidemic infection caused by the bacteria Vibrio cholera. Cholera was a severe epidemic which caused devastating loss to human life in many parts of the world. Currently this disease is almost non-existent but still, cases are reported in the 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. It is caused by bacteria like Shigella and Enteroinvasive Escherichia coli.

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 ulcer, the problem is not solved unless the bacteria are killed by antibiotics.

Diseases Caused by Bacteria
By: Y_tambe /creativecommons.org

The interesting concept is, the stomach region is highly acidic due to secretion of hydrochloric acid. The pH can be up to 1.5 and any microbe that enters 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 stomach, gas formation.

Causes: Contaminated drinking water.

Pneumonia: It is an infection of 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 leprae. 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 which caused by pneumococcus, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis.

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

Brain: Meningitis is an infection of brain 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, prostatitis is an inflammation of nephrons and prostate gland respectively.

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

Blood: Tetanus by streptococcus tetani.

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

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.

The common symptoms like fever, weakness are observed by the host. If not treated in time, the infection can be fatal.

But modern medicine has drugs in the form of antibiotics for the effective treatment of bacterial diseases.

Based on the above list, it appears that bacteria are extremely harmful to us. But there are many beneficial bacteria which are helpful to our life

Also, see the diseases caused by fungi and virus.

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

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