Bacteria are small microorganisms that are naturally present in the body and in the environment and that may or may not cause disease. Bacteria that cause disease are known as pathogenic bacteria and can enter the body through ingestion of contaminated food or water, unprotected sexual contact or through the airways, for example.
Diseases caused by bacteria are treated mainly with the use of antibiotics, which must be used as directed by the doctor to prevent the emergence of multidrug-resistant bacteria, which are responsible for more serious infections and more complicated treatment.
1. Urinary tract infection
Urinary infection is one of the most common infections caused by bacteria, and can happen due to an imbalance of the microbiota of the genital region, or due to the fact of holding the pee, not performing adequate intimate hygiene, drinking little water during the day or have kidney stones, for example.
There are several bacteria that can cause urinary tract infection, the main ones being Escherichia coli, Proteus sp., Providencia sp. and Morganella spp..
Main symptoms: The main symptoms related to urinary tract infection are pain and burning when urinating, cloudy or bloody urine, low and persistent fever, frequent urge to pee and feeling of not being able to empty the bladder.
How to treat: Treatment for urinary infection is indicated by the doctor when there are symptoms and the microorganism is identified, and the use of antimicrobials, such as Ciprofloxacin, for example.However, when there are no symptoms, the doctor may choose not to carry out treatment with antibiotics to prevent the emergence of resistant bacteria.
How prevention is done: Urinary infections are prevented by controlling the causes. Thus, it is important to perform intimate hygiene properly, avoid holding the pee for a long time and drink at least 2 liters of water a day, for example.
Meningitis corresponds to inflammation of the tissue that involves the brain and spinal cord, the meninges, and can be caused by several species of bacteria, the main ones being Streptococcus pneumoniae, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Haemophilus influenzae and Neisseria meningitidis, which can be acquired through secretions of people diagnosed with the disease.
Main symptoms: The symptoms of meningitis may appear about 4 days after the meninges are affected, and there may be fever, headache and when moving the neck, the appearance of spots bruises on the skin, mental confusion, excessive tiredness and muscle stiffness in the neck.
How to treat: Meningitis is usually treated in the hospital, so that the doctor can assess the person's progress and prevent complications. Thus, the use of antibiotics is necessary, according to the bacteria responsible, and the use of Penicillin, Ampicillin, Chloramphenicol or Ceftriaxone may be indicated, for example, which must be used as directed by the doctor.
How prevention is done: Meningitis prevention should be done mainly through vaccination against meningitis, which should be taken while still a child. In addition, it is important for people with meningitis to wear a mask and avoid coughing, talking or sneezing near he althy people to avoid contagion. Find out which vaccines protect against meningitis.
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis, which can be transmitted through oral, vaginal or anal intercourse without a condom, and can also be transmitted from woman to child during normal delivery when the treatment was not performed correctly.
Main symptoms: Chlamydia symptoms can appear up to 3 weeks after contact with the bacteria, and pain and burning when urinating, penile or vaginal discharge may be yellowish white and similar to pus, pelvic pain or swelling of the testicles, for example. Learn about other symptoms of chlamydia.
How to treat: Treatment for chlamydia should be done under the guidance of a gynecologist or urologist, and the use of antibiotics, such as Azithromycin or Doxycycline, is indicated to promote the elimination of the bacteria and symptom relief. It is important that the treatment is carried out by the infected person and by the partner, even if there are no apparent symptoms, as this is how it is possible to prevent infection.
How prevention is done: To prevent Chlamydia trachomatis infection, it is important to use a condom in all sexual relations and to carry out treatment according to the doctor's instructions, even if there are no apparent signs or symptoms.
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae that is transmitted through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
Main symptoms: In most cases gonorrhea is asymptomatic, however some symptoms may appear up to 10 days after contact with the bacteria, and pain and burning may be noticed when urinating, white-yellow discharge, inflammation of the urethra, urinary incontinence, or inflammation of the anus when the infection happened through anal intercourse.
How to treat: Treatment for gonorrhea should be done according to medical advice, and the use of antibiotics, such as Azithromycin or Ceftriaxone, and sexual abstinence during treatment period.
It is important that the treatment is carried out until the end, even if there are no apparent signs and symptoms, because this way it is possible to guarantee the elimination of the bacteria and prevent the development of complications, such as pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility.Learn more about treating gonorrhea.
How prevention is done: To prevent the transmission and spread of gonorrhea, it is important to use a condom in all sexual relations.
As with chlamydia and gonorrhea, syphilis is also a sexually transmitted infection, caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum, whose contagion can happen through unprotected sexual intercourse or direct contact with syphilis lesions, as they are rich in bacteria. In addition, syphilis can be transmitted from hand to child during pregnancy or at the time of delivery, when the disease is not identified and/or treated correctly.
Main symptoms: The initial symptoms of syphilis are sores that do not hurt or cause discomfort that can appear on the penis, anus or female genital area and disappear spontaneously. However, the disappearance of these lesions is not an indication that the disease is resolved, but that the bacteria is spreading through the body through the bloodstream, which can give rise to secondary and tertiary syphilis.See more about syphilis symptoms.
How to treat: Syphilis treatment should be recommended by the urologist or gynecologist according to the stage of the disease in which the person is and the severity of the symptoms. In general, the treatment is done through injections of benzathine penicillin, which is capable of promoting the elimination of the bacteria.
How prevention is done: Syphilis prevention is done through the use of condoms in all sexual relations, so it is possible to avoid coming into contact with the lesions. In addition, in the case of pregnant women with syphilis, in order to prevent the baby from becoming infected, it is important that the treatment is carried out according to the doctor's advice, as it is possible to reduce the amount of circulating bacteria and reduce the risk of transmission.
Leprosy, also known as leprosy, is a disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae and that can be transmitted through contact with nasal secretions of people with leprosy, mainly.
Main symptoms: This bacterium has a predilection for the nervous system, which can cause muscle paralysis, for example. However, the most characteristic symptoms of leprosy are the lesions formed on the skin, which happen due to the presence of the bacteria in the blood and skin. Thus, the most characteristic symptoms of leprosy are dryness of the skin, loss of sensation and the presence of lesions and wounds on the feet, nose and eyes, which can result in blindness.
How to treat: The treatment for leprosy must be indicated by the infectologist as soon as the diagnosis is made so that there are real chances of cure. Thus, treatment is usually done with several drugs in order to eliminate the bacteria and prevent the progression of the disease and the emergence of complications. The most indicated drugs are Dapsone, Rifampicin and Clofazimine, which should be used as directed by the doctor.
Furthermore, due to the deformities that may arise, it may be necessary to carry out procedures for correction and even psychological follow-up, since people with leprosy may suffer discrimination due to their appearance.Understand how leprosy treatment is done.
How prevention is done: The most effective form of prevention against leprosy is detection of the disease in the early stages and initiation of therapy as soon as the diagnosis is established. In this way, it is possible to prevent the occurrence of symptoms and complications and the transmission of other people.
7. Whooping cough
Pertussis is a respiratory infection caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis, which enters the body through the airways, lodges in the lungs and leads to the development of respiratory symptoms, being more common in children and which can be easily prevented through vaccination.
Main symptoms: The initial symptoms of whooping cough are similar to those of the flu, with low-grade fever, runny nose and dry cough, for example. However, as the infection progresses, it is possible to have bouts of sudden coughing in which the person has difficulty breathing and which end in a deep inspiration, as if it were a flu.
How to treat: Treatment for pertussis involves the use of antibiotics, such as Azithromycin, Clarithromycin or Erythromycin, for example, which should be used as directed by the doctor.
How prevention is done: To prevent whooping cough, it is recommended to avoid staying in closed places for a long time and wash your hands with soap and water frequently, in addition to being It is recommended to take the DTPA vaccine, which is included in the child's vaccination plan and which guarantees protection against whooping cough, diphtheria, tuberculosis and tetanus. Learn more about the DTPA vaccine.
Tuberculosis is a respiratory infection caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, popularly known as Koch's bacillus, which enters the body through the upper airways and lodges in the lungs, leading to the development of respiratory signs and symptoms, in addition to that it can also spread in the body and result in the development of extrapulmonary tuberculosis.Learn more about tuberculosis.
Main symptoms: The main symptoms of pulmonary tuberculosis are coughing for more than three weeks, which may be accompanied by blood, pain when breathing or coughing, night sweats and low-grade fever and constant.
How to treat: Tuberculosis treatment is carried out continuously, that is, the pulmonologist or infectious disease specialist indicates the combination of Rifampicin, Isoniazid, Pyrazinamide and Ethambutol for about 6 months or until the disease is cured. In addition, it is recommended that the person undergoing treatment for tuberculosis remains isolated for the first 15 days of treatment, as it is still capable of transmitting the bacteria to other people.
How prevention is done: Tuberculosis prevention is done through simple measures, such as avoiding being in public and closed places, covering your mouth when coughing and washing regularly the hands. In addition, prevention can also be done through the BCG vaccine, which should be done soon after birth.
Bacterial pneumonia is usually caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae, which can cause illness mainly in children and the elderly, and infection usually occurs through accidental entry of the bacteria into the lung from the mouth or as a consequence of infection elsewhere of the body.
Main symptoms: The main symptoms of bacterial pneumonia caused by S. pneumoniae are cough with phlegm, high fever, difficulty breathing and chest pain, and it is important to consult a pulmonologist or general practitioner so that symptoms can be evaluated and the most appropriate treatment can be initiated.
How to treat: Treatment for Streptococcus pneumoniae pneumonia is usually done with rest and antibiotics, such as Amoxicillin or Azithromycin, for up to 14 days, according to the medication indicated. Also, in some cases, the doctor may recommend performing chest physiotherapy so that the breathing process can be easier.
How to prevent: To prevent bacterial pneumonia, it is recommended to avoid staying for a long time in closed places with poor air ventilation and to wash your hands well.
Salmonellosis, or food poisoning, is a disease caused by Salmonella sp., which can be acquired through consumption of food and water, in addition to contact with animals contaminated by the bacteria. The main source of Salmonella sp. are the animals raised on farms, such as cows, pigs and chickens, mainly. Thus, the foods that can be obtained from these animals, such as meat, eggs and milk, correspond to the main source of salmonellosis infection.
Main symptoms: Symptoms of Salmonella sp infection. appear 8 to 48 hours after contact with the bacteria, and vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, fever, headache, malaise and chills may be observed. In some cases, diarrhea and blood in the stool can also be noticed.
How to treat: The treatment of salmonellosis is usually not done with the use of antibiotics, being usually indicated by the doctor the replacement of fluids, to avoid dehydration, which is very common in older people and children, and control of nausea, vomiting, and pain.
In more severe cases, when symptoms persist and bloodstream infection by this bacterium is suspected, the infectologist may recommend the use of antibiotics, such as Fluoroquinolones or Azithromycin, for example.
How prevention is done: Prevention of infection by Salmonella sp., is mainly done through personal and food hygiene measures. That is, it is important to wash your hands well after contact with animals and before and after preparing food, especially when they are raw.
Leptospirosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira, whose infection occurs through direct or indirect contact with urine, feces or secretions infected by the bacteria.This disease is more common in rainy periods, since the urine and excrement of rats, dogs or cats are spread around the place, facilitating the contagion by the bacteria.
Main symptoms: Leptospirosis symptoms usually appear after about 5 to 14 days after the bacteria enter the body through mucous membranes or skin wounds, and can cause symptoms such as headache, muscle pain, high fever, chills, bloodshot eyes, and nausea In some cases, the bacteria can reach the bloodstream and spread to other tissues, including the brain, causing more serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing and coughing. with blood.
In addition, due to the persistence of the bacteria in the body, there may be insufficiency and, consequently, kidney failure, which can put the person's life at risk.
How to treat: The main form of treatment is through antibiotics, which should be indicated as soon as symptoms appear.Usually, the infectologist recommends the use of Amoxicillin for 7 to 10 days and, in the case of patients allergic to this antibiotic, Erythromycin is recommended. In addition, depending on the severity of the symptoms, monitoring of kidney function is necessary, and dialysis may be necessary.
Although it is not a disease that can be transmitted from person to person, it is recommended that the person diagnosed with Leptospirosis stays rest and drinks plenty of water for faster recovery.
How prevention is done: To avoid leptospirosis, it is recommended to avoid potentially contaminated places, such as mud, rivers, standing water and flooded places, for example. In addition, in case of flooding, for example, it is recommended to wash all furniture and floors with bleach or chlorine.
It is also important to avoid accumulating garbage at home and to avoid accumulating water, because in this way, in addition to preventing leptospirosis, other diseases are avoided, such as dengue and malaria, for example. Find out about other ways to prevent leptospirosis.
Cholera is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae that produces toxins that cause inflammation of intestinal cells, resulting in the typical symptoms of the disease. This type of disease is more common in places that do not have running water, basic sanitation or garbage collection, which favors the proliferation of infectious agents. Learn more about cholera.
Main symptoms: The symptoms of cholera can take up to 5 days after contact or consumption of contaminated water or food, mainly intense diarrhea, liquid and whitish stools, nausea constant, dehydration, excessive tiredness, weakness and changes in heart rate.
How to treat: No specific treatment is usually necessary for cholera, it is only recommended that the person drink plenty of fluids or homemade saline to prevent severe dehydration, in addition to being recommended that you have a light and easily digestible diet.
In the most serious cases, especially when the presence of blood in the feces or urine is verified, the doctor may recommend the use of antibiotics to fight the bacteria and toxins.
How to prevent cholera: To prevent cholera, it is important to cook food well, drink filtered water and wash your hands before handling food and after going to the bathroom. In addition, there is also a cholera vaccine, which is recommended for people who live or will travel to places with a high risk of infection by the bacteria responsible for the disease. Learn more about the cholera vaccine.