Bacterial Infections

Description: Bacterial infections include a huge group of diseases caused by microorganisms – bacteria. These are small unicellular microorganisms that have a strong cell wall to protect against the effects of aggressive environmental factors. Bacteria are isolated in a separate realm – prokaryotes, since they do not have a nucleus, their genetic material is located in the cytoplasm of cells. These microorganisms are the most numerous and ancient of all living things, they live practically everywhere (water, air, soil, other organisms).

Causes: Reduced immune defense is the main cause of many diseases caused by the fact that opportunistic microbes become pathogenic and very dangerous for the human body. Untimely treatment is fraught with serious consequences.

The main pathogens of infections

Many types of bacteria live in the human body. However, most cells are pathogenic, with varying degrees of virulence and toxicity.

All types of bacteria are divided into two large groups: non-spore saprophytes and parasites. Parasites also include such bacteria that live in the human intestine and benefit it – bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. There are the following types of bacteria in cell form:

  • Globular cocci – meningococcus, staphylococcus, pneumococcus, streptococcus. They are the causative agents of meningitis, pneumonia, pustular skin diseases, tonsillitis, streptoderma;
  • Sticks – causative agents of intestinal infections – diphtheria, dysentery, tetanus, tuberculosis. Cause acute intestinal diseases, inflammatory processes in internal organs;
  • Crimped microorganisms – treponemy, leptospira. They cause such types of bacterial infections as syphilis, leptospirosis;
  • Flagellar bacteria (example – cholera vibrio). The shape of the cell, allows microorganisms to quickly move around in the environment, spreading dangerous infections;
  • Parasites that can change their form. This is a separate group of bacteria that lack a cell wall. Diseases caused by these microorganisms are difficult to treat.

Representatives of the microworld cause infectious diseases of varying severity. With the invention of penicillin, it became possible to fight them and suppress the growth and reproduction of bacterial cells.

Symptoms:

Depending on the location of the microorganisms, there are several types of bacterial infections. Each of them has its own symptoms:

  • Sexual infections in women. The most common diseases are vaginosis, trichomoniasis, gardnerellez, yeast infection. Pathologies of the female genitourinary system are the result of changes in the vaginal microflora. They have such symptoms: the formation of vaginal discharge of various characteristic color and consistency, burning and itching sensation, pain during urination, discomfort in sexual acts, a specific unpleasant odor. Women’s bacterial diseases can be caused by syringing, taking medications, changed hormonal background, reduced immunity, frequent changes of sexual partners;
  • Intestinal infection. It occurs as a result of direct toxic effects of bacteria on the epithelium of the digestive tube and gastrointestinal tract. Salmonellosis is characterized by fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea. Staphylococcal intestinal infection are characterized by a runny nose, sore throat, a slight increase in temperature, a loose stool, rashes on the skin, nausea, vomiting, and pain in the abdomen. The general condition of the patient is similar to food poisoning. A typhoid intestinal infection – the joints, throat, loss of appetite, stomach aches. In severe form – nonsense, coma;
  • Childhood diseases. The most common diseases are mumps, rubella, scarlet fever, measles, sore throat. Toxins secreted by bacteria affect the internal organs of the child. Symptoms of childhood bacterial infection include: fever, cough, general weakness, headaches, nausea, vomiting, tonsillitis, rashes on the skin, severe intoxication. To avoid complications, you should immediately consult a doctor;
  • Throat diseases. Infection of the respiratory tract have the following symptoms: deterioration in overall well-being, pronounced focus of the disease, purulent discharge, white deposits in the throat, low temperature at the initial stage of the disease. Often a bacterial infection of the throat is preceded by a transferred cold.

Bacteria can live in the body without any symptoms, but after the acute respiratory infections immunity decreases, and the rapid growth and multiplication of the pathogenic microbe begins. Effective treatment is impossible without taking antibiotics.

Routes of infection and types of diseases:

The environment contains millions of bacteria. They are on food, in water, on soil, in the air and in the human body.

There are basic routes of infection:

  • contact-household – common objects (dishes, textiles);
  • alimentary – with food or contaminated water;
  • sexual – through sperm or saliva (venereal diseases);
  • airborne – when sneezing, coughing, talking, breathing;
  • transplacental – bacteria transmitted from mother to child.

A group of diseases caused by bacteria is the most extensive, and various human organs can attack microbes. Many of them are life-threatening and can lead to death if untimely treatment:

  • meningitis, plague, cholera, typhus, anthrax;
  • diphtheria, dysentery, salmonellosis, brucellosis;
  • pneumonia, tonsillitis, scarlet fever, mumps, measles;
  • syphilis, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, vaginosis.

Serious skin diseases and eye infection are also the result of bacteria. Correct personal hygiene, maintenance of the body in tone, careful processing of food and maintenance of immunity are the main preventive methods aimed at preventing bacterial infection.

Diagnosis:

The main method for diagnosing bacterial infections is bacteriological research. In this case, the doctor examines the material containing the bacteria. After 48 hours the bacteria are identified. The huge advantage of this method is the ability to conduct a study of the sensitivity of the isolated bacterium to antibiotics, for the purpose of rational treatment.

Doctors also use:

  • microscopic examination of the material;
  • serological examination.

Treatment:

Treatment of bacterial infections, like any other disease, is complex and includes:

  • etiotropic therapy – treatment aimed at eliminating the cause of the disease – bacteria. For this, antibiotics are used. At the moment there are several groups of antibiotics, but the most important is their separation into bactericidal antibiotics (kill bacteria) and bacteriostatic (suppress the growth and reproduction of bacterial cells). This is very important, especially in the case of meningococcal infection;
  • pathogenetic therapy is aimed at removing bacterial toxins that accumulate in the course of an infectious disease (detoxification). Also, this treatment aimed at restoring damaged organs;
    symptomatic therapy is needed to alleviate the condition of a person with bacterial infection and reduce the severity of symptoms.

Today, thanks to antibiotics, it is possible to cure most bacterial infections, but improper intake of antibiotics can lead to the development of resistance (insensitivity) in bacteria and even dependence on antibiotics.

Medications:

Drugs are an integral part of the treatment of bacterial infections.

Antibiotics, which are recommended for the elimination of infection caused by bacteria, are divided into two large groups: bactericidal action (complete destruction of microorganisms), bacteriostatic action (reduction in growth and number of bacteria).

Doctors may also prescribe antihistamines (antiallergic) drugs, prebiotics for the intestine, vitamins and medications that strengthen immunity. Treatment of bacterial infection is based on the following antibiotics:

  • bacteriostatic drugs;
  • bactericidal;
  • antibacterial penicillins.

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