Symptoms of a bacterial infection may include fever, sneezing, coughing, inflammation, fatigue, vomiting, cramping and diarrhea, as stated by WebMD. Bacteria cause urinary tract infections, strep throat and tuberculosis, among other infections, according to Mayo Clinic.
Pathogenic bacteria cause bacterial infections, explains Better Health Channel. Disease-causing bacteria access a person's body through open cuts, contaminated water or food, close contact with an infected person, contact with an infected person's feces, and breathing in droplets from an infected person's cough or sneeze. Bacterial infections also spread indirectly when a person touches contaminated surfaces such as toilet handles or taps.
There are four main types of disease-causing bacteria: bacilli, cocci, spirochaetes and vibrio, as noted by Better Health Channel. Bacilli bacteria cause cystisis and typhoid, cocci bacteria cause gonorrhea, spirochaetes bacteria cause syphilis, and vibrio bacteria cause cholera.
Infants, seniors, and people with impaired immune systems due to poor diet or disease are at the highest risk for bacterial infection, according to Life Extension. Antibiotics are the main treatment for bacterial infections, but the overuse of antibiotics has created strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Prolonged use of antibiotics can destroy beneficial bacterial flora and predispose patients to further infections. The side effects of antibiotics include diarrhea, vitamin deficiencies, autoimmune disease, kidney injury and decreased platelets.