Gram-negative bacilli are responsible for numerous diseases. Some are commensal organisms present among normal intestinal flora. These commensal organisms plus others from animal or environmental reservoirs may cause disease.
Urinary tract infections Introduction to Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can be divided into upper and lower tract infections: Upper tract infections involve the kidneys ( pyelonephritis). Lower tract infections involve the bladder... read more , diarrhea Diarrhea Stool is 60 to 90% water. In Western society, stool amount is 100 to 200 g/day in healthy adults and 10 g/kg/day in infants, depending on the amount of unabsorbable dietary material (mainly... read more , peritonitis Peritonitis Abdominal pain is common and often inconsequential. Acute and severe abdominal pain, however, is almost always a symptom of intra-abdominal disease. It may be the sole indicator of the need... read more , and bloodstream infections Bacteremia Bacteremia is the presence of bacteria in the bloodstream. It can occur spontaneously, during certain tissue infections, with use of indwelling genitourinary or IV catheters, or after dental... read more are commonly caused by gram-negative bacilli.
Gram-negative bacteria cause plague Plague and Other Yersinia Infections Plague is caused by the gram-negative bacterium Yersinia pestis. Symptoms are either severe pneumonia or large, tender lymphadenopathy with high fever, often progressing to septicemia... read more , cholera Cholera Cholera is an acute infection of the small bowel by the gram-negative bacterium Vibrio cholerae, which secretes a toxin that causes copious watery diarrhea, leading to dehydration, oliguria... read more , and typhoid fever Typhoid Fever Typhoid fever is a systemic disease caused by the gram-negative bacterium Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi (S. Typhi). Symptoms are high fever, prostration, abdominal pain, and... read more . These infections are rare in the US but are more common in areas of the world that have poor sanitation and/or an unsafe water and food supply. These infections can be serious.