Life Sciences Glossary: Bacterial Diseases and Their Pathogens

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Bacterial Diseases and Their Pathogens

Bacterial Diseases and Their Pathogens
Scarlet feverStreptococcus Pyogenic
GonorrheaNeisseria gonorrhea
MeningitisNeisseria meningitides
AnthraxBacillus anthraces
TetanusClostridium tetanic
BotulismClostridium botulin
Gas gangreneClostridium perigees
Typhoid feverSalmonella tophi
CholeraVibrio cholera
Bubonic plagueYersinia pasties
Whooping coughcordately pertussis
DiphtheriaCorynebacterium diphtheria
TuberculosisMycobacterium tuberculosis
LeprosyMycobacterium laree
SyphilisTreponema palladium
Pneumonia (Pneumococcal)Streptococcus Pneumonia
Bacterial dysentery (Shigellosis)Sheila sonnet
Typhus feverRickettsia Prowazekii
Q feverCoxiella burnet
Trench feverRochalimaea Quintana
TrachomaChlamydia trachomatis
Rocky MountainRickettsia Spotted fever

Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

  • Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is primarily a disease of children.
  • Pertussis is caused by Bordet Ella pertussis, a small Gram- negative rod.
  • Whooping cough, affecting upper respiratory tract, begins with a mild fever and an irritating cough with the characteristic ‘Whoop’ (loud, crowing inspiration) .
  • As with diphtheria and tetanus, the immunization for this disease is done with the use of DPT vaccine.
  • Whooping cough is spread through droplet infection and direct contact.


  • Diphtheria is a respiratory disease common in children caused by Corynebacterium diphtheria, a Gram- positive bacillus.
  • Diphtheria disease affects the throat and its main symptom is suffocation.
  • Diphtheria is disease characterized by oozing of semisolid material in throat forming a touch membrane.
  • Diphtheria is highly infectious and spreads through droplet infection and contact.
  • Immunity or susceptibility of diphtheria is determined by performing the Schick test.


  • Tuberculosis Bacilli (TB) is a bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
  • TB is one of the most common communicable diseases in the world.
  • Tuberculosis continues to be a serious infections disease in India; nearly 2 out of 5 cases in the world are found in India.
  • Tuberculosis bacterial invade bones, joints, eyes, lymph nodes, kidneys, larynx, skin, even the brain
  • Lungs are the most favorite site of infection; in children, TB of the spine is known as pot՚s disease.
  • TB is spread by droplet infection through coughing, sneezing, talking and spitting.
  • BCG (Bacilli Chalmette Guerin) is a vaccine meant for protection against tuberculosis.
  • Monteux test is performed to determine susceptibility of tuberculosis.

Leprosy (Hansen՚s Disease)

  • The agent of leprosy is Mycobacterium laree; first observed by the Norwegian physician Gerhard Armature Hansen in 1874.
  • Leprosy is a chronic infection of the skin and other tissues including nerves.
  • The usual symptoms of leprosy are ulcers, nodules, scales, deformities or fingers and toes and wasting of body parts.
  • Susceptibility to leprosy is highest among infants and infection requires prolonged, close contact with an infected individual.


  • Syphilis is one of the most familiar venereal diseases (VD) or sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Syphilis is commonly known as ‘French disease’ or ‘French pox’ caused by a spirochete, Treponema palladium.
  • The pathogen penetrates broken skin or mucous membranes in the genitalia, rectum or mouth during sexual intercourse.
  • Infection may also be acquired by. Kissing or by other intimate bodily contact with an infected person.
  • Syphilis affects numerous parts of the body like meninges, bones, liver, kidneys, eyes, teeth, etc.
  • The patients of syphilis develop characteristic ′ points, on teeth called ′ Hutchison ′ s teeth ′ .

Serological tests for early diagnosis of syphilis are:

  • TPI (Treponema palladium immobilization test) . VDRL (Venereal diseases research laboratory test)
  • FTA- ABS (Fluorescent treponemal antibody test) and Wassermann test.
  • Congenital syphilis is transmitted from mothers to new – born babies.

Pneumonia Most Cases of Pneumonia Are Caused by Viruses or Bacterial Resulting in the Inflammation of Lungs

  • The most common bacterial pneumonia is pneumococcal pneumonia caused by Streptococcus pneumonia.
  • Other types of bacterial pneumonia are caused by- Hemophilic influenza, Legionella pneumophile and Staphylococcus aureus.
  • Symptoms of pneumonia include fever, chills, shortness of breath and cough that produces yellow- green sputum and occasionally blood.

Bacterial Dysentery (Shigellosis)

  • Bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Sheila spy, Campylobacter and Salmonella cause diarrheal diseases.
  • Common intestinal bacterium of humans is Escherichia coli.
  • Bacillary dysentery is caused by Sheila, including Sh. Sonnies, Sh. Dysenteries, Sh. Flexner and Sh. Bordia.

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