Bacterial Infection - Types and Treatment

Bacteria growing in petri dish. TEK Images/Science Photo Library/Getty Images


A bacterial infection is any type of infection that is caused by bacteria rather than a virus or other organism. Bacteria are very common in our bodies and in the world around us. Many of them are helpful. Less than 1% of bacteria will actually make us sick. When they do make us sick, they are called "bacterial infections".

Types of Bacterial Infections:

Just like viral infections, the severity of bacterial infections can vary significantly.

Seemingly minor illnesses such as strep throat and some ear infections are caused by bacteria. Bacteria can also cause life threatening infections like bacterial meningitis, methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureas (MRSA) and vancomycin resistant enterococcus (VRE). 

Other bacterial infections include:

Treating Bacterial Infections:

Most bacterial infections have to be treated with antibiotics. The specific type of antibiotic depends on the type of bacteria that is causing the infection. Your health care provider can decide which type of medication is best for you based on your symptoms and diagnosis.

If you get a bacterial infection and need to take antibiotics, taking the medication as directed is extremely important to cut down on antibiotic resistance.


"Bacterial Infections." Medlineplus 01 Aug 08. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. 08 Aug 08.

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