Bacterial Infections

There are some variety of bacteria known as resident flora that lives in different parts of our body such as the skin, mouth, intestine and reproductive tract. They are useful to individuals in several manners such as assisting with the digestion of food and to prevent the growth of other dangerous bacteria. The harmful bacteria are known as pathogens which proliferate and cause infections in different parts of the body. It is estimated that less than 1% of all bacteria cause infections. Bacterial infections can be contagious so care should be taken to prevent the transmission of the microbes to other people by washing hands regularly, covering the mouth when coughing and sneezing. Some of the common infections caused by bacteria include typhoid fever, meningococcal infections, cholera, salmonella infections and tetanus.

Bacterial skin infections

While some types of bacteria continue to live on the skin and cause no harm, others can invade the broken skin causing infections. Folliculitis affects the hair follicles as the result of an infection or injury. This is commonly caused by staphylococcus aureus bacteria affecting the adolescents and young adults mostly. It can occur as a few follicular pustules or involve the entire hair follicle (a boil). The common site of this infection includes the scalp, beard area and buttocks.

Cellulitis is a common skin infection that appears as a swollen, red patch of skin that feels hot and tender. It usually affects the skin on lower legs and can spread to the lymph nodes and bloodstream. This condition is potentially life-threatening requiring immediate medication attention.

Some of other types of skin infections include furunculosis, abscesses, impetigo, infectious gangrene and staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome.

Foodborne bacterial infections

Foodborne infections occur when the gastrointestinal tract is affected as the result of consuming food or liquid that is contaminated by harmful bacteria. Some sources of this include shellfish, eggs, unpasteurized milk, undercooked meat, seafood, poultry and dairy products. The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, fever, abdominal pain and watery or bloody diarrhea. Most of the foodborne infections are acute meaning most people can recover without the need for treatment. Some of the bacteria responsible for foodborne illness include E-Coli, listeria monocytogenes, vibrio and salmonella.

Sexually transmitted bacterial infections

Sexually transmitted infections are passed on during sexual activity. There are several types of STIs and the early diagnosis is essential in preventing the transmission to other individuals. Although most STIs can be treated, some can cause complications such as infertility. Some of the common bacterial STIs include chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis. Some of the symptoms associated with STIs may consist of vaginal discharge, burning sensation while urinating, fever, abdominal pain, discharge from penis and swelling of the testicles in some cases.

Treatment

Some of the bacterial infections may resolve on its own without the need for treatment. However, the more serious infections are treated with antibiotics. In the case of certain skin infections, localized topical antibiotics are available in the form of creams, gels and solutions. The other forms include antibiotics as tablets or intravenous injections for more serious infections. The physician will take into account the different factors and evaluate the type of antibiotics to treat an infection. Various diagnostic tests will be conducted to determine the type of bacteria that causes the infection.