A 17-month-old baby boy from Germany is fighting a rare bacterial infection that is literally eating him alive, the UK's Daily Mail reports.

Simon Seyfarth, of Erfurt in Germany, is suffering from Waterhouse Friderichsen syndrome, a rare form of meningitis.

He has had to endure 24 operations, it is reported. So far he has had one foot amputated and may lose his left arm due to the bacteria that is gnawing through his bones, veins, muscle tissue and skin, according to the Daily Mail.

The bacteria has also dissolved Simon's esophagus so he must be fed through a pipe in his chest.

Professor Uwe Friedrich of the Helios Clinical Center in Erfurt, where Simon is being treated, told the Daily Mail, "He is being eaten alive. The disease is often fatal and death sometimes occurs in the first few hours of life. But Simon is a fighter and we have recently seen that his blood count is up and we are battling on to try to save him."

Doctors say that if the penicillin being given to Simon halts the infection, the child may have a chance at life.

Click here to read more on this story from the Daily Mail.