Learn About Germs

Name of Germ and Disease They Cause Major Source and How Germ is Spread

Incidence and

Population most at risk

Did You Know? References & Outside Links for Additional Information

Aeromonas hydrophila, Aeromonas caviae, Aeromonas sobria

 

Disease it Causes
Wound infections (direct contact).
Gastroenteritis (food, water).

Direct Contact: humans may acquire infections through open wounds.

Food,Water: ingestion of a sufficient number of the organisms.

Incidence: unknown

Population: All.
Most frequently observed in very young children.

People with impaired immune systems are susceptible to the more severe infections.

Ubiquitous in aquatic environments.

Although optimum growth is 28 C, growth has been observied at extremes of cold and hot (4 C and 37 C).

 

Aeromonas hydrophila
from: US Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Foodborne Pathogenic Microorganisms and Natural Toxins Handbook"Bad Bug Book

Bacillus anthracis

 

Disease it Causes
Anthrax

Inhalation: spores in soil, usually spread to livestock.

Food: ingestion of undercooked meat.

Direct Contact: skin contact with infected open sores.

 

Incidence: 1-2 cases per year.

Population: slaughterhouse workers, veterinarians, laboratory workers, and livestock handlers.

Recently feared as a biological weapon.

Anthrax
from: US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health , MedlinePlus
Anthrax
from: National Institutes of Health National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseaess
Anthrax
from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Foodborne, Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases (DFBMD)

Bacillus cereus and other Bacillus spp.

 

Disease it Causes
Diarrhea or Vomiting (rice products)

Food: meats, milk, vegetables, and fish have been associated with the diarrheal type.

Rice products.

Incidence: In 1981, 8 outbreaks were reported which primarily involved rice and shellfish.

Population: all.

Fried rice is a leading cause of B. cereus emetic-type food poisoning in the United States. Bacillus cereus and other Bacillus spp.from: US Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Foodborne Pathogenic Microorganisms
and Natural Toxins Handbook ("Bad Bug Book")

Bartonellosis henselae

 

Disease it Causes
Cat Scratch Disease

Direct contact with pet: scratch from an infected cat injects bacteria under the skin.

Incidence:About 40% of cats carry B. henselae at some time in their lives.

Population: frequently affects children under the age of 10.

People with immunocompromised conditionsare more likely than others to have complications of CSD.

Cat scratch disease is not contagious from person to person.

Having one episode of the disease usually makes people immune for the rest of their lives.

Cat Scratch Disease
from: CDC National Center for Infectious Disease, Healthy Pets Healty People

Bordetella pertussis

 

Disease it Causes
Pertussis
" Wooping Cough"

Direct Contact with discharges from respiratory mucous membranes of infected persons.

Incidence: In the United States, 5000-7000 cases are reported each year and has increased steadily since the 1980s.

Population: children especially those too young to be vaccinated.

Recent increases in adults.

Highly communicable disease.

The name comes from the noise you make when you take a breath after you cough.

Pertussis
from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Borrelia burgdorferi

 

Disease it Causes
Lyme Disease

Direct contact with animal: bites of certain species of ticks (black-legged tick or deer tick).

Incidence: in 2002, more than 23,000 cases of Lyme disease were reported in the U.S.

Population: all ages.

People spending time outdoors in woody, grassy, areas especially in spring through fall.

First recognized in the US in 1975 by Dr. Allen Steere, after a mysterious outbreak of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis near Lyme, Connecticut.  

Brucella spp.

 

Disease it Causes
Brucellosis

Direct Contact or from aerosolization:
from infected animal tissues especially cattle and pigs, wild animals.

Food: ingestion of unpasteurized milk, cheese.

Incidence 100-200 cases each year in U.S.

Population: farmers, veterinarians, and slaughterhouse workers, hunters.

Travelers to Latin America or Middle East, where disease is endemic
in dairy animals.

In 1954, Brucella suis became the first biological agent to be weaponized by the U.S..

Brucellosis
from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Campylobacter jejuni

 

Disease it Causes
Campylobacteriosis

Food: especially raw or undercooked chicken and raw milk

Incidence: the leading cause of bacterial diarrheal illness in the U. S.

Population:: most affects children less than 5 years old and young adults 15 to 29 years old.

The bacterium is fragile. In the environement it does not survive it does not do well in dry conditions, and can be killed by oxygen.

Campylobacteriosis
from: National Institutes of Health National Institute of Alergy and Infectious Diseaess
Campylobacter
from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Foodborne, Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases (DFBMD)

Chlamydia psittaci

 

Disease it Causes
Psittacosis or
Parrot Fever

Direct contact with infected bird droppings.

Arisolization of contaminated droppings,nasal secretions,feather dust.

Incidence: From 1988-2003, 935 human cases of psittacosis were reported to the CDC.

Population: all, especially in overcrowded conditions, pet shops, bird marts.

Can become severe in elderly if left untreated.


Incidence seems to be increasing in developed countries, which is correlated to the import of exotic birds.

Psittacosis
from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Chlamydia trachomatis

 

Disease it Causes
Urethritis, Cervicitis, Genital infections

Direct Contact: vaginal, anal or oral sex.

Infected mother to baby during childbirth.

 

Incidence: In 2006, 1,030,911 infections were reported in U.S.

Population: sexually active individuals especially teens.

It's one of the most widespread of all sexually transmitted diseases, according to the CDC.

Chlamydia
from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Diseae Control and Prevention, Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Clostridium botulinum

 

Disease it Causes
Botulism

Food: especially canned food not processed properly such as in home canning.

Wound infected with Clostridium botulinum (wound botulism)

Consuming the spores of the botulinum bacteria (infant botulism).

Incidence: Average of 110 cases of botulism are reported each year. Of these, approximately 25% are foodborne, 72% are infant botulism, and the rest are wound botulism.

Population: all.

Infant botulism is caused by consuming the spores of the bacteria, usually from honey.

Clostridium botulinum
from: US Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Foodborne Pathogenic Microorganisms
and Natural Toxins Handbook ("Bad Bug Book")
Infant Botulis
from:Nemours Foundation, KidsHealth for parents
Botulism
from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Foodborne, Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases (DFBMD)
Botulism
from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,Emergency Preparedness & Response

Clostridium tetani

 

Disease it Causes
Tetanus (Lock-Jaw)

Direct Contact: through break in the skin.

Incidence: rare in U.S. (50-70 cases each year).

Highest in Africa and Southeast Asia.

Population: persons not getting vaccine, or booster.

Due to widespread immunization, tetanus is now rare in the U.S Booster immunization against tetanus is recommended every 10 years. A new combination vaccine, called Tdap, protects against tetanus, diphtheria and
pertussis.

Tetanus (Lockjaw) Vaccination
from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Vaccines and Immunization

Coxiella burnetii

 

Disease it Causes
Q fever

Aerolization: inhalation of dust that contains the organism.

Especially found in cattle, sheep, and goats.

Incidence: Disease is underreported,so scientists cannot reliably assess how many cases of Q fever have occurred worldwide.  Many human infections are inapparent.

Population: occupational exposure involving veterinarians, meat processing plant workers, sheep and dairy workers, livestock farmers, and researchers.

Coxiella is resistant to heat, drying, and many disinfectants, making it able to survive for long periods in environment.  

Considered by the US government as a possible agent for bioterrorism.

Q Fever
from: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,Viral and Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch

Corynebacterium diphtheriae

 

Disease it Causes
Diphtheria

 

Direct physical contact.

Aerosolized secretions of infected individuals.

Incidence: rare
between 1980 and 2004 there were 57 reported cases of diphtheria in US.

Population: Children under 5 and adults over 60 years old are more at risk. People living in crowded or unclean conditions, those who aren't well nourished, and children and adults who don't have up-to-date immunizations are also at risk.

Diphtheria poses a threat to U.S. citizens who may not be fully immunized and who travel to other countries or have contact with immigrants or international travelers coming to the United States.

Diphtheria
f
rom: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

Enterohemmorrhagic
E. coli 0157:H7(EHEC)

 

Disease it Causes
Hemorrhagic colitis
Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS)

Food: Undercooked or raw hamburger, lettuce, sprouts.

Water: accidental ingestion of water contaminated with fecal material.

Direct contact with infected individual.

Incidence: not common.

Population: all, but children and the elderly more likely to progress to more serious symptoms.

Hemolytic syndrome, or HUS, is one of the most common causes of sudden, short-term kidney failure in children.

HUS develops when the bacteria lodged in the digestive system make toxins that enter the bloodstream and start to destroy red blood cells.

Escherichia coli
from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Foodborne, Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases (DFBMD)

Enteropathogenic
E. coli (EPEC)

 

Disease it Causes
Diarrhea

Food: consumption of raw beef and chicken.

Incidence: sporatic.

Population: countries with poor sanitation practices.

Infants, especially those bottle fed in countries with poor sanitation (suggests water contamination as the source).

 

Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC)
from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Enterotoxigenic
E. coli (ETEC)

 

Disease it CausesGastroenteritis

Water: consumption of water contaminated with human sewage.

Food: prepared from an infected food handler.

Incidence: rare in US.

Population: all. Infants and travelers to underdeveloped countries are most at-risk

Only four outbreaks in the U.S. have been documented.

The disease is common among travelers to foreign countries.

Diarrheagenic Escherichia coli
from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Enteroinvasive
E. coli (EIEC)

 

Disease it Causes
Bacillary dysentery

Food: contaminated with human feces from an ill individual.

Outbreaks associated with hamburger meat and unpasteurized milk.

Incidence: not common.

Population: all.

The genus Escherichia is named after Theodor Escherich, who isolated the type species of the genus.  

Ehrlichia chaffeensis

 

Disease it Causes
Diarrheal illness

Bite from ticks found on the white-footed mouse, the white-tailed deer.

Incidence: hundreds of cases reported, but most are not reported.

Population: all but most common in young adults and males.

Was first found to cause disease in 1986.

Human Ehrlichiosis in the United States
from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Viral and Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch
Ehrlichiosis
from: emedicine from WEBMD

Enterics misc.--Klebsiella, Enterobacter, Proteus, Citrobacter, Aerobacter, Providencia, Serratia

 

Disease it Causes
Diarrheal illness

Food: dairy products, raw shellfish, and fresh raw vegetables.

Incidence: 76 million cases of foodborne illness and 5,000 associated deaths occur in the U.S. each year.

Population: all.

Protracted illness in very young.

The definition of "enteric" is within or pertaining to the small intestine.

Enteric Highlights
from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Enteric Diseases Epidemiology and Laboratory Branches

Francisella tularensis

 

Disease it Causes
Tularemia

Tick or deerfly bite.

Handling infected sick or dead animals.

Eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Incidence: About 200 human cases eported each year in the U.S.

Population: rural areas, especially south-central and western states.

F tularensis is found worldwide in more than 100 species of wild animals, birds, and insects. The strain found primarily in North America, is the most virulent.

Miscellaneous enterics
from: US Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Foodborne Pathogenic Microorganisms
and Natural Toxins Handbook ("Bad Bug Book")

Haemophilus ducreyi

 

Disease it Causes
Chancroid
Human Genital Ulcer Disease

Direct sexual contact.

Incidence: becomming more common in US. Common in Africa and parts of Asia.

Population: sexually active- more prevalent in males. Travelers to outside of U.S.

Outbreaks in major United States’ cities have been associated with populations with a high incidence of HIV-1 infection.

Immunopathogenesis of Haemophilus ducreyi Infection (Chancroid)
from: Infection and Immunity, April 2002, p. 1667-1676, Vol. 70, No. 4
0019-9567/02/$04.00+0     DOI: 10.1128/IAI.70.4.1667-1676.2002
Copyright © 2002, American Society for Microbiology.

Haemophilus influenzae

 

Disease it Causes
Invasive Disease,
meningitis, bacterial pneumonia

Direct contact with respiratory droplets from infected person.

Incidence: low in U.S. due to vaccine developed in 1990.

Population: Infants and young children, day-care children.

Major cause lower respiratory tract infections in infants and children in developing countries due to lack of vaccine.

Haemophilus influenzae Serotype b (Hib) Disease
from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Diseae Control and Prevention

Legionella pneunophila

 

Disease it Causes
Legionnaires Disease

Aerosols: breathing small droplets of water from air from hot tubs, cooling towers, hot water tanks, large plumbing systems.

Not spread from person to person.

Incidence :Each year 8,000 - 18,000 people are hospitalized with disease in U.S.

Population: most at risk-- 65 years of age or older, smokers, people with chronic lung disease, or weakened immune system..

Disease is now detected more as health care providers look for the disease in people with pneumonia.

Legionellosis Resource Site
(Legionnaires' Disease and Pontiac Fever)
from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Listeria monocytogenes

 

Disease it Causes
Listeriosis

Food: deli meats, raw meats, raw vegetables, poultry.

Incidence: estimated 2,500 persons become seriously ill with listeriosis each year.

Population: especially susceptible are pregnant women/fetus, immunocompromised, cancer patients.

In addition to humans, at least 42 species of wild and domestic mammals and 17 avian  species, including domestic and game fowl, can harbor listeriae.

Listeria Infections
from: US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health , MedlinePlus
Listeria monocytogenes
from: US Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Foodborne Pathogenic Microorganisms
and Natural Toxins Handbook ("Bad Bug Book")
Listeriosis
from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Foodborne, Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases (DFBMD)

 

Mycobacterium tuberculosis

 

Disease it Causes
Tuberculosis

Droplets from infectous cough secretions.

Incidence: on the decline in U.S.,about one-third of the world's population is infected with tuberculosis.

Population: people in crowded, poorly ventilated spaces such as prisons, juvenile detention centers and homeless shelters
people with weakened immune systems such as elderly, AIDS patients.

Cause of the "White Plague" of the 17th and 18th centuries in Europe
100 %.  of the European population was infected.

Division of Tuberculosis Elimination (DTBE)
from: Center of Disease Control, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention
Tuberculosis
from: U.S National Library of Medicine and National Institues of Health, Medline Plus
Tuberculosis
from: 1998-2008 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER).

Mycobacterium leprae

 

Disease it Causes
Hansen's Disease (Leprosy)

Uncertain, probably spread from person to person in respiratory droplets.

Incidence: rare in the U.S. 166 new cases were reported in the U.S. in 2005,

Population: people having close contacts with patients with untreated, active, disease.

Leprosy remains the most misunderstood human infectious disease. It is well established that Leprosy is not highly transmissible, is very treatable, and, with early diagnosis and treatment, is not disabling. Hoever, the stigma associated with the disease still exists.

National Hansen's Disease (Leprosy) Program
from: U.S. Deparmtnet of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
Leprosy (Hansen's Disease)
from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Foodborne, Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases (DFBMD)

 

Neisseria gonorrhoeae

 

Disease it Causes
Gonorrhea

Direct contact from vaginal, oral, or anal sex with an infected partner.

Infected mothers may pass infection to baby as it passes through the birth canal during delivery.

Incidence: In 2004, 330,132 cases of gonorrhea were reported to the CDC.

Population: highest rates among African Americans, 15 to 24 years of age, and women.

Gonorrhea is the second most commonly reported bacterial STI in the United States following chlamydia.

Gonorrhea
from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Gonorrhea
from: U.S National Library of Medicine and National Institues of Health, Medline Plus
Gonorrhea
from: National Institutes of Health National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseaess

Neisseria meningitidis

 

Disease it Causes
Meningococcal Disease

Person to person through droplets of respiratory or throat secretions. Close and prolonged contact (e.g. kissing, sneezing and coughing on someone, living in close quarters or dormitories; sharing eating or drinking utensils.

The disease in sub-Saharan Africa, which is known as the “Meningitis Belt”.

Population: increase in chance of invasive disease in people with viral infections, household crowding, chronic illnesses. Also, smokers, college freshmen living in dormitories, U.S. military recruits, travelers to the "Meningitis Belt".

Streptococcus pneumoniae and Neisseria meningitidis are the leading causes of bacterial meningitis.

Although Nesseria meningitidis lives in the noses and throats of 5%-10% of the population it rarely causes serious disease.

Meningitis )Meningococcal Disease)
from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Meningitis
from: U.S National Library of Medicine and National Institues of Health, Medline Plus
Meningococcal Disease
from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Traveler's Health: Yellow Book

Plesiomonas shigelloides

 

Disease it Causes
gastroenteritis

Food: ingestion of raw shellfish.

Water: drinking contaminated water.

Incidence: rarely reported in U.S.,
cases more common in tropical and subtropical areas.

Population: All
Infants, children and chronically ill people are more likely to experience complications.

 

 

Plesiomonas shigelloides
from: US Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Foodborne Pathogenic Microorganisms
and Natural Toxins Handbook ("Bad Bug Book")

Rickettsia rickettsii

 

Disease it Causes
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Transmitted by the bite of an infected tick. The American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis) and Rocky Mountain wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni) are the primary athropods (vectors) which transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever bacteria in the U.S.

Incidence: about 250–2,000 cases per year in the U.S.

Population: all spending time outdoors, occurs throughout U.S. spring througn fall. Especially in south-Atlantic region of the United States The highest incidence rates have been found in North Carolina and Oklahoma. Although this disease was first discovered and recognized in the Rocky Mountain area, relatively few cases are reported from that area today.

 

First recognized in 1896. As a result of the disease outbreak the Rocky Mountain Laboratory was established in Hamilton, Montana. This facility is now a part of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health. Laboratory.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Rickettsial Infections
from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Traveler's Health: Yellow Book

Salmonella spp.

including .
S. typhimurium and S. enteritidis

 

Disease it Causes
Salmonellosis

Food: especially raw meats, raw poultry, and raw seafoods, eggs, salad dressings, fresh produce.

Contact with water, soil, kitchen surfaces, animal feces.

Contact with pet reptiles.

Incidence: Estimated 2 to 4 million cases of salmonellosis occur in the U.S. annually.

Population: all but more severe in infants, elderly and ill or immunocomprimised.

In the 1970's, small pet turtles were a common source of salmonellosis in the U.S., and in 1975, the sale of small turtles was banned in this country.

Salmonella spp.
from: US Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Foodborne Pathogenic Microorganisms
and Natural Toxins Handbook ("Bad Bug Book")
Salmonellosis
from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Foodborne, Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases (DFBMD)
Salmonella Infections
from: U.S National Library of Medicine and National Institues of Health, Medline Plus
Salmonellosis
from: National Institutes of Health National Institute of Alergy and Infectious Diseaess

Salmonella typhi

 

Disease it Causes

Typhoid Fever

Eating food or beverages that have been handled by a person who is shedding S. Typhi.

Drinking Water contaminated with S. Typhi bacteria from sewage.

Incidence: 400 reported cases in U.S. each year.

Common in developing countries (22 million cases each year).

Population: travelers to South Asia and developing countries in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

A few people can become carriers of S. typhi. They continue to shed the bacteria in their feces for years, spreading the disease, as in the case of "Typhoid Mary" in New York over 100 years ago.

Typhoid Fever
from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Shegella dysenteriae, Shegella flexneri, Shegella boydii, and Shegella sonnei

 

Disease it Causes

Shigellosis

Injesting contaminated food and water.

Incidence: 400,000 cases occur every year in the United States.

Population: more common in summer than winter. Children, especially toddlers aged 2 to 4, and in child care steeings are the most likely to get shigellosis.

As little as 10-100 bacteria can cause disease.

Shigellosis

from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Foodborne, Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases (DFBMD)
Shigellosis

from: National Institutes of Health National Institute of Alergy and Infectious Diseaess

Shigella spp.

from: US Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Foodborne Pathogenic Microorganisms
and Natural Toxins Handbook ("Bad Bug Book")

Staphylococcus aureus

 

Disease it Causes

Vancomycin-intermediate Staphylococcus aureus (VISA)

Vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Food : meat and meat products; poultry and egg products; salads such as egg, tuna, chicken, potato, and macaroni; bakery products.

Spread through the air, on contaminated surfaces, and from person to person.

Incidence: unknown

Population: all. Higher for those who associate with or who come in contact with sick individuals and hospital environments

Staphylococci are present in the nasal passages and throats and on the hair and skin of 50 percent or more of healthy individuals.

Staphylococcal Infections

from: U.S National Library of Medicine and National Institues of Health, Medline Plus

Staphylococcus aureus

from: US Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Foodborne Pathogenic Microorganisms
and Natural Toxins Handbook ("Bad Bug Book")

MRSA

from: U.S National Library of Medicine and National Institues of Health, Medline Plus

Streptococcus pneumoniae

 

Disease it Causes

Pneumococcal Disease

Person-to-person through close contact.

Incidence: in 2002 there were 13 cases per 100,000 in the U.S.

Population: all. Highest in young children, the elderly, and persons of any age who have chronic medical conditions.

Smokers child care centers, nursing homes, or other institutions.

S. pneumoniae is a transient member of the normal flora in humans, colonizing the nasopharynx of up to 40% of healthy adults and children with no adverse effects.

Pneumococcal Disease (Streptococcus pneumoniae)

from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Traveler's Health: Yellow Book

Streptococcus pneumoniae Disease

from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

Streptococcus pyogenes

Group A Streptococcal Infections Group (GAS)

 

Disease it Causes

Strep throat
Impetigo

More invasive cases can cause Bacteremia (bacteria in the blood), Toxic shock syndrome, Streptococcal Toxic-Shock Syndrome (STSS), Necrotizing fasciitis (commonly called flesh-eating disease).  

Food, especially when left at room temperature before consumption.

Direct contact with mucus from the nose or throat of persons who are infected.

Contact with infected wounds or sores on the skin.

Incidence: low

Populations: all

Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a serious but uncommon bacterial infection.Toxic shock syndrome, which is caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, has been associated with the use of tampons probably because types of high-absorbency tampons provided a moist, warm home where the bacteria can thrive.

Group A Streptococcal Infections

from: National Institutes of Health National Institute of Alergy and Infectious Diseaess

CDC Streptococcus Laboratory

from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and PreventionCDC Streptococcus Laboratory, Respiratory Diseases Branch Division of Bacterial Diseases

Toxic Shock Syndrome

from: the Nemours Foundation, Kids Health for Parents

Group A Streptococcal (GAS) Disease

from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Streptococcus Group D

S. faecalis, S. faecium, S. durans, S. avium, and S. bovis

 

Disease it Causes

Diarrheal illness

Food, especially sausage, evaporated milk, cheese, meat croquettes, meat pie, pudding, raw milk, and pasteurized milk. Entrance into the food chain is due to underprocessing and/or poor and unsanitary food preparation.

Incidence: variable.

Populations: all.

Group D strep can be difficult to treat, often requiring two drug therapy antibiotics .

Stretoccoccus spp.

from: US Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Foodborne Pathogenic Microorganisms
and Natural Toxins Handbook ("Bad Bug Book")

Group B Strep

from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Streptococcus pneumoniae

 

Disease it Causes

Drug-Resistant Invasive Disease (DRSP)

acute otitis media, pneumonia, bacteremia, or meningitis

Invasive Disease Non-Drug Resistant, in Children Less Than 5 Years of Age (Invasive Pneumococcal Disease).

Close person to person contact.

Incidence: in 2002, the rate of invasive disease was 13 cases per 100,000 in the U.S.

Population: all.

Persons at higher risk are the elderly, children under 2 years old, blacks, American Indians and Alaska Natives, children who attend group day care centers, and persons with underlying medical conditions.

Increased emergence of antibiotic resistance strains is cause for concern.

Streptocossus pneumoniae disease

from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Pneumococcal Disease (Streptococcus pneumoniae)

from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Traveler's Health: Yellow Book

Treponema pallidum

 

Disease it Causes

Syphilis,

Congnital syphilis

Direct contact with a syphilis sore. Sores occur mainly on the external genitals, vagina, anus, or in the rectum. Sores also can occur on the lips and in the mouth. Transmission of the organism occurs during vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

Pregnant women with the disease can pass it to the babies they are carrying.

Incidence: 36,000 cases of syphilis in 2006 in U.S., including 9,756 cases of primary and secondary (P&S) syphilis.

Population: Incidence of P&S syphilis was highest in women 20 to 24 years of age and in men 35 to 39 years of age, men having sex with men.

Syphilis cannot be spread through contact with toilet seats, doorknobs, swimming pools, hot tubs, bathtubs, shared clothing, or eating utensils.

Syphilis

from: U.S National Library of Medicine and National Institues of Health, Medline Plus

Syphilis

from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Vibrio spp.

non-cholera species

 

Disease it Causes

Vibriosis

Food: consumption of raw, improperly cooked, or cooked, recontaminated fish and shellfish.

Incidence: :major outbreaks in U.S. especially during warm months

Population: all with consumption of raw, improperly cooked, or cooked, recontaminated fish and shellfish.

V. vulnificus is estimated to account for 90% of all seafood consumption related deaths in the United States.

Vibrio parahaemolyticus

from: US Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Foodborne Pathogenic Microorganisms
and Natural Toxins Handbook ("Bad Bug Book")

Vibrio

from: US Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition,Bacteriological Analytical Manual Online,May 2004

Vibrio cholerae

 

Disease it Causes

Cholera

Food: associated with the consumption of raw shellfish or of shellfish either improperly cooked or re-contaminated after proper cooking.

Water: generally a disease spread by poor sanitation, resulting in contaminated water supplies.

Incidence: Over 200 proven cases of cholera have been reported in the U.S. since 1973.

Population: All

Individuals with damaged or undeveloped immunity, reduced gastric acidity, or malnutrition may suffer more severe forms of the illness.

The disease is now considered to be endemic in many countries and the pathogen causing cholera cannot currently be eliminated from the environment.

Vibrio cholerae Serogroup O1

from: US Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Foodborne Pathogenic Microorganisms and Natural Toxins Handbook ("Bad Bug Book")

Cholera

from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Foodborne, Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases (DFBMD

Cholera

World Health Organization, Media Centre, Fact sheet N°107, Revised September 2007

Vibrio haemolyticus

 

Disease it Causes

Vulnificus

Food: mostly raw seafood

Direct contact of open wounds with sea water.

Incidence: underreported. Between 1988 and 1995, CDC received reports of over 300 V. vulnificus infections.

Population: people living in the Gulf Coast states.

Vibrio vulnificus lives in warm seawater and is part of a group of vibrios that are called "halophilic" because they require salt.

Bacterial Infections

from: U.S National Library of Medicine and National Institues of Health, Medline Plus

Vibrio vulnificus

from: US Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Foodborne Pathogenic Microorganisms
and Natural Toxins Handbook ("Bad Bug Book")

Vibrio vulnificus

from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Foodborne, Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases (DFBMD

Yersinia enterocolitica and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis

 

Disease it Causes

Yersiniosis

Food meats (pork, beef, lamb, etc.), oysters, fish, and raw milk.

Germ enters food supply through soil, water and animals.

Poor sanitation and improper sterilization techniques by food handlers, including improper storage.

Incidence: 17,000 cases annually in the US.

Population: very young, the debilitated, the very old and persons undergoing immunosuppressive therapy.

Chitterlings, also called "chitlins," are a popular dish consisting of the large intestines of swine. It is importaant to practice safe food handling practices to prevent cross-contamination with Yersinia during the preparation of this dish.

Yersinia enterocolitica

from: US Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Foodborne Pathogenic Microorganisms and Natural Toxins Handbook ("Bad Bug Book")

Yersinia pestis

 

Disease it Causes

the Plague

Direct Contact: rodent or flea bites.

 

Incidence: scattered cases in rural areas of U.S. (average of 10 to 15 persons each year). World Health Organization reports 1,000 to 3,000 cases of plague every year worldwide.

Populations: Individuals living in rural southwestern United States where there are populations of prarie dogs. Also, hunters, veterinarians, and those who camp or hike in areas where animals are infected with plague. Domestic cats or dogs can spread the disease to their owners by bringing infected fleas into the home.

The plague epidemic in the 14th century killed more than one-third of the population of Europe within a few years. It was called the Black Death because it turned the skin black.

CDC Plague Home Page

from: Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases

Plague

from: U.S National Library of Medicine and National Institues of Health, Medline Plus

Plague

from: World Health Organization, Health Topics