Bacteria and human disease

Although a detailed discussion of bacterial diseases falls outside the remit of this introductory text, their effect on the human race is too huge to fail to mention them completely. Some important examples have been mentioned briefly in the preceding text and Table 7.5 summarises the principal bacterial diseases of humans. This chapter about bacteria concludes with a brief discussion of four bacterial diseases, each providing an example of a different mode of transmission.

Table 7.5 Some bacterial diseases of humans

Genus

Disease

Gram-positive

Staphylococcus

Impetigo, food poisoning, endocarditis,

bronchitis, toxic shock syndrome

Streptococcus

Pneumonia, pharyngitis, meningitis, scarlet fever,

dental caries

Enterococcus

Enteritis

Listeria

Listeriosis

Bacillus

Anthrax

Clostridium

Tetanus, botulism, gangrene

Corynebacterium

Diphtheria

Mycobacterium

Leprosy, tuberculosis

Propionibacterium

Acne

Mycoplasma

Pneumonia, vaginosis

Gram-negative

Salmonella

Salmonellosis

Escherichia

Gastroenteritis

Shigella

Dysentery

Neisseria

Gonorrhoea, meningitis

Bordetella

Whooping cough

Legionella

Legionnaires' disease

Pseudomonas

Infections of burns

Vibrio

Cholera

Campylobacter

Gastroenteritis

Helicobacter

Peptic ulcers

Haemophilus

Bronchitis, pneumonia

Treponema

Syphilis

Chlamydia

Pneumonia, urethritis, trachoma

The table shows the genera responsible for some important bacterial diseases of humans. Note that many of the diseases listed may be caused only by a particular species within the genus.

The table shows the genera responsible for some important bacterial diseases of humans. Note that many of the diseases listed may be caused only by a particular species within the genus.

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