The scientific name for flesh-eating disease is necrotizing fasciitis, which means "decaying infection of the fascia," according to the National Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation, or NNFF. The disease is otherwise commonly know as "flesh-eating bacteria" or "flesh-eating bacteria syndrome," although it is actually caused by several different types of bacteria.
Being a relatively rare infection, necrotizing fasciitis affects the subcutaneous tissues and deep layers of skin, spreading through toxins and bacterial enzymes, and causing tissue necrosis, vascular occlusion and ischemia. It is severe and progresses rapidly. Treatments include intravenous antibiotics and surgical debridement, according to the NNFF.
The NNFF notes that the various bacteria that cause the disease include group A strep, Staph aureus (including MRSA), bacterioids, clostridium, Vibrio vulnificus, pseudomonads and Aeromonas hydrophila.