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What are some bacterial infections of the lungs?

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Quick Answer

Some lung infections that may caused by bacteria are pneumonia and tuberculosis, states WebMD. Pneumonia affects the alveoli, or air sacs, in the lungs, and tuberculosis is a contagious disease that may be spread from person to person.

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Bacterial pneumonia causes an inflammation in the alveoli. This can lead to the formation of pus in these air sacs, causing symptoms, such as coughing up phlegm, breathing difficulties, a fever and feeling tired. Although pneumonia can also be caused by viruses and fungi, the bacterium called Streptococcus pneumoniae is the type of bacteria that most commonly causes bacterial pneumonia in the United States, as noted by Mayo Clinic. Sometimes bacterial pneumonia can affect only one section of the lung, which is referred to as lobar pneumonia.

Tuberculosis is another bacterial disease. The bacterium responsible for this very serious and infectious disease is Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Although the lungs are often affected with tuberculosis, the disease can also develop in other part of the body, including the kidneys and brain, states the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The transmission of this disease occurs via the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes and anyone nearby is exposed to the bacteria in the air. The symptoms of TB include a cough with signs of blood, fever and losing weight.

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