Bacteria are found everywhere and they can be either good or pathogenic. It may be a good time to know which ones are the adversaries and understand what disease they cause. Below is a list of common bacteria that cause illness in humans. Ladies and gentlemen, meet your pathogens.
Bordetella pertussis: Bacteria that causes pertussis or whooping cough. Complication can lead to brain damage and death in children. Its virulence factors are fimbrae, exotoxins, and capsule.
Borrelia burgdorferi: Gram negative bacteria in the spirochete class. This bacteria is known to cause Lyme disease. Symptoms include bulls eye rash and flu-like symptoms. Its virulence factor is the shape which allows to burrow into tissues.
Chlamydia trachomatis: Bacteria that cause sexually transmitted infection chlamydia. Its symptoms include painful urination, puss-filled discharge, and vaginal discharge with foul odor.
Clostridium botulinum: Bacteria that cause botulism. Its symptoms include blurry vision, respiratory paralysis, inhibition of muscle relaxation, and flaccid paralysis.
Clostridium tetani: Common soil bacteria and the causative agent of tetanus. Port of entry is through puncture wound. Symptoms include lock jaw, muscle spasm, difficulty swallowing, and fever.
E.coli O157:H7: Type of Escherichia coli bacteria that is extremely virulent. It produces several potent enterotoxins that cause organ damage. This bacteria also cause hemolytic uremic syndrome or damages to the kidney blood vessels.
Escherichia coli: Bacteria that usual cause urinary tract infection. Virulence factors include fimbrae and flagella. Its symptoms include cloudy urine, foul odor smell, and urine blood.
Haemophilus influenzae: Bacteria that cause a type of pneumonia. It cause an opportunistic secondary infection in people who may be infected with a virus-like flu or virus. This bacteria also cause meningitis or inflammation of the meninges.
Helicobacter pylori: Bacteria that infects and colonizes the stomach. It cause stomach or gastric ulcer. Its virulence factor is flagella.
Klebsiella pneumoniae: Bacteria that cause the most severe pneumonia. Its symptoms include coughing with bloody sputum.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis: Bacteria that cause tuberculosis, a disease identified by the growth of nodules called tubercles in the lung tissues. Its virulence factor is mycolic acid which makes the bacteria resistant to chemical damages.
Mycoplasma pneumoniae: Bacteria that lacks a cell wall and cause mild form of pneumonia or walking pneumonia.
Neisseria gonorrhoeae: Bacteria that cause sexually transmitted infection gonorrhea. Symptoms include pain when urinating, genital discharge, and swollen testicles.
Neisseria meningitidis: Bacteria that cause meningitis in adults. Symptoms include fever, headache, stiff neck, sensitive to light, muscle pain, and rashes that do not fade under pressure.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa: Bacteria that cause various acute and chronic infection at different parts of the body. Can cause ear infection.
Rickettsia rickettsii: Bacteria that cause Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Symptoms include non-itchy spotted rash on trunk and appendages including palms and soles. Other symptoms include muscles aches and nausea.
Salmonella typhimurium: Causative agent of bacterial gastroenteritis. Usually found in poultry products. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, and fever.
Salmonella typhi: Bacteria that cause typhoid fever and can be asymptomatic.
Staphylococcus aureus: Causative agent of bacterial gastroenteritis. Also causes ear infection.
Streptococcus mutans: Bacteria that cause dental caries. It produce lactic acid that degrades tooth enamel.
Streptococcus pneumoniae: Common cause of pneumonia and can also cause meningitis. Its virulence factor is capsule.
Streptococcus pyogenes: Bacteria can cause ear infection. It can also cause necrotizing fascitis or flesh-eating disease, strep throat, scarlet fever, and strawberry red tongue.
Group B Streptococcus: An opportunistic bacteria that becomes pathogenic to fetus/newborns and cause blindness, pneumonia, and brain damage.
Treponema pallidum: Bacteria that cause sexually transmitted disease syphilis. It is a type spirochete bacteria and can burrow in the tissues.
Vibrio cholerae: Bacteria that cause cholera, an infectious disease that causes severe watery diarrhea which can lead to dehydration and even death if untreated.
Yersinia pestis: Bacteria that cause plague. Its virulence factor is endotoxin that causes septic shock.
Parker, N., Schneegurt, M., Thi Tu, A.-H., Forster, B. M., & Lister, P. (n.d.). Microbiology. Houston, Texas: OpenStax. Access for free at: https://openstax.org/details/books/microbiology
Prof. Wendy Gideon. Palomar College. https://www2.palomar.edu/