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What is Bacteria ?
Bacteria are microscopic, single-cell organisms that live almost everywhere. Bacteria live in every climate and location on earth.Some are airborne while others live in water or soil.Bacteria live on and inside plants, animals, and people.
What Is Bacterial Infection ?
A bacterial infection is a proliferation of a harmful strain of bacteria on or inside the body. Bacteria can infect any area of the body. Pneumonia, meningitis, and food poisoning are just a few illnesses that may be caused by harmful bacteria. Bacteria come in three basic shapes: rod-shaped (bacilli), spherical (cocci), or helical (spirilla). Bacteria may also be classified as gram-positive or gram-negative. Gram-positive bacteria have a thick cell wall while gram-negative bacteria do not. Gram staining, bacterial culture with antibiotic sensitivity determination, and other tests are used to identify bacterial strains and help determine the appropriate course of treatment.
Types Of Bacterial Infection
1. Bacterial Skin Infection:
Bacterial skin infections are usually caused by gram-positive strains of Staphylococcus and Streptococcus or other organisms. Common bacterial skin infections include:
- Cellulitis causes a painful, red infection that is usually warm to the touch. Cellulitis occurs most often on the legs, but it can appear anywhere on the body.
- Folliculitis is an infection of the hair follicles that causes red, swollen bumps that look like pimples.Improperly treated pools or hot tubs can harbor bacteria that cause folliculitis.
- Impetigo causes oozing sores, usually in preschool-aged children. The bullous form of impetigo causes large blisters while the non-bullous form has a yellow, crusted appearance.
- Boils are deep skin infections that start in hair follicles. Boils are firm, red, tender bumps that progress until pus accumulates underneath the skin.
1.1. Causes Of Bacterial Skin Infection:
The three main causes of a skin infection are bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Many types of bacteria can cause a skin infection. According to the New York State Department of Health, the two most common are staphylococcus aureus and streptococcus.
1.2. Prevention Of Bacterial Skin Infection:
1. Wash lacerations with soap and rinse thoroughly with water to clean the area.
2.Apply an antiseptic or antibiotic ointment to the abrasion and the surrounding area of skin.
3.Cover an open sore or cut with a bandage to keep it clean and dry and to prevent bacteria or fungus from entering the open wound.
2. Food-borne Bacterial Infection:
Bacterial infections are one cause of food-borne illness. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, chills, and abdominal pain are common symptoms of food poisoning. Raw meat, fish, eggs, poultry, and unpasteurized dairy may harbor harmful bacteria that can cause illness. Unsanitary food preparation and handling can also encourage bacterial growth. Bacteria that cause food poisoning include:
- Campylobacter jejuni (C. jejuni) is a diarrheal illness often accompanied by cramps and fever.
- Clostridium botulinum (C. botulinum) is a potentially life-threatening bacterium that produces powerful neurotoxins.
- Salmonella causes fever, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. Symptoms typically last between 4 and 7 days.
- Vibrio causes diarrhea when ingested, but it can also cause severe skin infections when it comes in contact with an open wound.
2.1. Prevention Of Foodborne Infection:
Refrigerate and freeze necessary foods right away. Do use a meat thermometer to make sure your food is cooked thoroughly. Do wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm, soapy water before and after handling any raw meats, fruits and vegetables. Do wash utensils and disinfect surfaces before and after use.
3. Sexually Transmitted Bacterial Infections:
Many sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are caused by harmful bacteria. Sometimes, these infections aren’t associated with any symptoms but can still cause serious damage to the reproductive system. Common STDs caused by bacterial infections include:
- Chlamydia is an infection in men and women caused by an organism called Chlamydia trachomatis. Chlamydia increases the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women.
- Syphilis can affect men and women and is caused by the bacteria Treponema pallidum. Untreated, syphilis is potentially very dangerous and can even be fatal.
3.1. Prevention Of Sexually Transmitted Bacterial Infections:
- Use latex condoms every time you have sex.
- Avoid sharing towels or underclothing.
4. Other Bacterial Infections:
Harmful bacteria can affect almost any area of the body. Other types of bacterial infections include:
- Bacterial meningitis is a severe infection of the meninges, the lining of the brain.
- Otitis media is the official name for an infection or inflammation of the middle ear. Both bacteria and viruses can cause ear infections, which commonly occur in babies and small children.
- Respiratory tract infections include sore throat, bronchitis, sinusitis, and pneumonia. Bacteria or viruses may be responsible for respiratory tract infections. Tuberculosis is a type of bacterial lower respiratory tract infection.
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Causes Of Bacterial Infection
Bacteria can enter the body through the nose, mouth, eyes, or skin. Once the bacteria enter the body, they begin multiplying. Each bacterium divides into two. Under ideal conditions, a single bacterium can produce 72 billion bacteria in just 12 hours.
Cure of Bacterial Infection
The body reacts to disease-causing bacteria by increasing local blood flow (inflammation) and sending in cells from the immune system to attack and destroy the bacteria. Antibodies produced by the immune system attach to the bacteria and help in their destruction. They may also inactivate toxins produced by particular pathogens, for example tetanus and diphtheria.
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