Symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, fever, nausea or vomiting are indicative of the presence of bacteria in the lungs. Although these microorganisms are essential for the optimal functioning of human physiological systems, their presence in this type of organ leads to serious clinical pictures.
Do you know why these bacterial infiltrations occur in the lung area? Are you in a risk group? Knowing more is essential when dealing with these diseases, as it allows you to take preventive measures. For this reason, here we tell you everything you need to know about pneumonia of bacterial origin.
On the microbiota and bacterial activity
First of all, it is essential to remember this The bacteria that inhabit the human body are, for the most part, positive. Various microbiological studies They have reaped their fruits. For example, bacterial colonies in the human intestine perform functions such as:
- Better absorption of some nutrients.
- A more efficient lipid metabolism.
- Protection against pathogenic microorganisms.
The normal microbiota is defined as the set of microorganisms that inhabit the body of living beingsand perform various functions of a symbiotic or commensal nature with their host.
These colonies have both a spatial and a temporal component, since their composition and presence can vary according to the place in the body where they live and the age of the person.
The problem arises when the bacteria, which must not initially be pathogenic, they colonize internal systems that do not benefit from their presence. This is the case, for example, of pneumonia of bacterial origin which we explain below.
Are there bacteria in the lungs?
With all that has been said thus far, you may have come to the same conclusion we did; there are bacteria in the lungs, but not in the normal way. Naturally, like any surface in contact with the outside, areas such as the nasal cavity, nasopharynx and larynx have a bacterial community harmless to humans.
When these microorganisms are present in the internal respiratory tract, a clinical picture of pneumonia occurs. This type of condition can occur in anyone regardless of age or gender, though various statistical studies point out that it is more common in infants.
HIV-infected patients are also at particular risk for this disease, since it has been determined who are five times more likely to get bacterial pneumonia than a seronegative person.
Why does bacterial pneumonia occur?
Bacterial pneumonia is usually caused by bacteria of the species Streptococcus pneumoniae. Indeed, data published in Full pediatrics state that 40% of cases occur due to this microorganism. However, it may also occur before the colonization of other microorganisms such as:
- Haemophilus influenzae.
- Klebsiella pneumoniae.
- Escherichia coli.
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
- Moraxella catarrhalis.
The bacteria reach the respiratory tract by inhalation, but can also enter the respiratory tract through the blood if an infection elsewhere in the body has spread enough. This is when the immune system sends out white blood cells to eliminate pathogens.
Neutrophils surround bacteria with their membranes and release cytokines, which promotes a typical clinical picture in bacterial infections. All of this could be summed up in the fact that there is inflammation in the lung air sacs and breathing difficulties.
Symptoms of bacteria in the lungs
Depending on the severity of the clinical picture and the responsible microorganism, symptoms can vary. Even so, there are some signs that are considered general, such as the following:
- Chest pain when breathing and coughing.
- Productive cough with purulent sputum.
- Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
How is bacterial pneumonia diagnosed?
According to the information of the Pan American Journal of Public Healthradiological image of alveolar consolidation is accepted as a confirmatory criterion of presumably bacterial pneumonia. An opacity in the lung tissue is usually seen in affected patients, but this is not true in all cases.
In moments of suspicion, always Cultures of the patient’s sputum may be done to confirm the presence of bacteria.
What is your treatment?
As in all cases of bacterial infections, antibiotics will be the drugs of choice. The doctor, after establishing whether it is Gram positive or Gram negative bacteria, may suggest the use of various drugs, such as amoxicillin, cephalosporin or doxycycline.
Since there are various treatments, it is necessary to establish the exact genus of the microorganisms that cause the disease. With this data it is possible to choose the most effective therapeutic options for each case.
What to remember about bacteria in the lungs?
As strange as it may be, second American Lung Associationis there a vaccine against pneumonia caused by Streptococcus pneumoniaethe most common pathogen.
This is recommended for children under two and adults over 65, as they are typical vulnerable groups. Furthermore, at the risk of contracting it in another age group, the prognosis is good if treated in time and there are no complications.
Bacteria are essential microorganisms, as they provide protection against pathogens in many of the body’s systems. However, its lack of control can lead to health problems.
Therefore, If you suspect a bacterial infection, it is essential to seek immediate medical attention. With timely treatment, the chances of overcoming the bacterial disease are quite high.
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