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Encyclopedia > Mycobacterium
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Mycobacterium
TEM micrograph of M. tuberculosis.
TEM micrograph of M. tuberculosis.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: Actinobacteria
Order: Actinomycetales
Suborder: Corynebacterineae
Family: Mycobacteriaceae
Genus: Mycobacterium
Lehmann & Neumann 1896
See text.

Mycobacterium is a genus of Actinobacteria, given its own family, the Mycobacteriaceae. It includes many pathogens known to cause serious diseases in mammals, including tuberculosis and leprosy. Most mycobacteria are classified into two categories, the fast-growing kind and the slow-growing kind, and most mycobacteria share some common characteristics: Image File history File links Download high resolution version (5480x3355, 8235 KB)TEM micrograph of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis. ... Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is an imaging technique whereby a beam of electrons is focused onto a specimen causing an enlarged version to appear on a fluorescent screen or layer of photographic film (see electron microscope), or can be detected by a CCD camera. ... A micrograph is a photograph or similar image taken through a microscope or similar device to show a magnified image of an item. ... Scientific classification or biological classification is how biologists group and categorize extinct and living species of organisms (as opposed to folk taxonomy). ... Phyla/Divisions Actinobacteria Aquificae Bacteroidetes/Chlorobi Chlamydiae/Verrucomicrobia Chloroflexi Chrysiogenetes Cyanobacteria Deferribacteres Deinococcus-Thermus Dictyoglomi Fibrobacteres/Acidobacteria Firmicutes Fusobacteria Gemmatimonadetes Nitrospirae Omnibacteria Planctomycetes Proteobacteria Spirochaetes Thermodesulfobacteria Thermomicrobia Thermotogae Bacteria (singular, bacterium) are a major group of living organisms. ... Classes Actinobacteria The Actinobacteria or Actinomycetes are a group of Gram-positive bacteria. ... Suborders Actinomycineae Corynebacterineae Frankineae Glycomycineae Micrococcineae Micromonosporineae Propionibacterineae Pseudonocardineae Streptomycineae Streptosporangineae Actinomycetales is an order of Actinobacteria. ... Families Corynebacteriaceae (Coryneform bacteria) Dietziaceae Gordoniaceae Mycobacteriaceae Nocardiaceae Tsukamurellaceae Williamsiaceae Corynebacterineae is a suborder of Actinomycetales. ... In biology, a species is the basic unit of biodiversity. ... Classes Actinobacteria The Actinobacteria or Actinomycetes are a group of Gram-positive bacteria. ... Tuberculosis (commonly shortened to TB) is an infection caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which most commonly affects the lungs (pulmonary TB) but can also affect the central nervous system (meningitis), lymphatic system, circulatory system (Miliary tuberculosis), genitourinary system, bones and joints. ... For the malady found in the Hebrew Bible, see the article Tzaraath. ...

  • They are widespread organisms, typically living in water (including tap water treated with chlorine) and food sources.
  • They can colonize their hosts without the hosts showing any adverse signs. For example, millions of people around the world are infected with M. tuberculosis but will never know it because they will not develop symptoms.
  • All mycobacteria are aerobic and acid fast. As a genus, they share a characteristic cell wall, thicker than in many other bacteria, hydrophobic, waxy and rich in mycolic acids/mycolates. The mycobacterial cell wall makes a substantial contribution to the hardiness of this genus.
  • Mycobacterial infections are notoriously difficult to treat. The organisms are hardy and due to their cell wall, which is neither truly gram negative or positive and unique to the family, they are naturally resistant to a number of antibiotics which utilize the destruction of cell walls such as penicillin. Also, because of this cell wall, they can survive long exposure to acids, alkalis, detergents, oxidative bursts, lysis by complement and antibiotics which naturally leads to antibiotic resistance. Most mycobacteria are susceptible to the antibiotics clarithromycin and rifamycin, but antibiotic-resistant strains are known to exist.
  • Mycobacteria tend to be fastidious (difficult to culture), sometimes taking over two years to develop in culture. As well as being fastidious, some species also have extremely long reproductive cycles (M. leprae, for example, may take more than 20 days to proceed through one division cycle; E. coli, for comparison, takes only 20 minutes), making laboratory culture a slow process.

Contents

Binomial name Mycobacterium tuberculosis Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the bacteria that causes most cases of tuberculosis. ... An aerobic organism or aerobe is an organism that has an oxygen based metabolism. ... A bacillus is a rod-shaped bacterium: an acid-fast bacillus (or AFB) is a rod-shaped bacterium which, when stained with certain compounds, retains that stain despite treatment with an acidic solution. ... Mycolic acid is an acid known for protecting the cell bodies of mycobacterium, which include tuberculosis. ... Mycolic acid is an acid known for protecting the cell bodies of mycobacterium, which include tuberculosis. ... An antibiotic is a drug that kills or slows the growth of bacteria. ... Penicillin nucleus Penicillin refers to a group of β-lactam antibiotics used in the treatment of bacterial infections caused by susceptible, usually Gram-positive, organisms. ... The word complement (with an e in the second syllable, not to be confused with a different word, compliment with an i) has a number of uses. ... An antibiotic is a drug that kills or slows the growth of bacteria. ... Antibiotic resistance is the ability of a microorganism to withstand the effects of an antibiotic. ... Clarithromycin is a macrolide antibiotic used to treat pharyngitis, tonsillitis, acute maxillary sinusitis, acute bacterial exacerbation of chronic bronchitis, pneumonia (especially atypical pneumonias associated with Chlamydia pneumoniae or TWAR), skin and skin structure infections, and, in HIV and AIDS patients to prevent, and to treat, disseminated Mycobacterium avium complex or... The rifamycins are a group of antibiotics which are synthesized either naturally by the bacterium Amycolatopsis mediterranei, or artificially. ... Microphotograph of Mycobacterium leprae taken from a skin lesion. ... Binomial name Escherichia coli T. Escherich, 1885 Escherichia coli (usually abbreviated to E. coli) is one of the main species of bacteria that live in the lower intestines of warm-blooded animals (including birds and mammals) and are necessary for the proper digestion of food. ...


Medical classification

Mycobacteria can be classified into several major groups for purpose of diagnosis and treatment:

  • M. tuberculosis complex which can cause tuberculosis: M. tuberculosis, M. bovis, M. africanum, and M. micoti
  • M. leprae which causes Hansen's disease or leprosy
  • Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are all the other mycobacteria which can cause pulmonary disease resembling tuberculosis, lymphadenitis, skin disease, or disseminated disease.

Tuberculosis (commonly shortened to TB) is an infection caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which most commonly affects the lungs (pulmonary TB) but can also affect the central nervous system (meningitis), lymphatic system, circulatory system (Miliary tuberculosis), genitourinary system, bones and joints. ... For the malady found in the Hebrew Bible, see the article Tzaraath. ...

Species

The Red Ribbon is a symbol for solidarity with HIV-positive people and those living with AIDS. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS or Aids) is a collection of symptoms and infections resulting from the specific damage to the human immune system caused by infection with the... Trinomial name Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis is a pathogenic bacteria in the genus Mycobacteria. ... Diagram of the Human Intestine Crohns disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that can involve any part of the digestive tract, from the mouth to the anus. ... Johnes disease (pronounced yo-knees) is a contagious, chronic and usually fatal infection that affects primarily the small intestine of ruminants. ... Species See text. ... Binomial name Mycobacterium bovis Karlson & Lessel 1970 Mycobacterium bovis is the causative bacterial agent of tuberculosis in cattle. ... The immune system is the system of specialized cells and organs that protect an organism from outside biological influences. ... Binomial name Mycobacterium leprae Hansen, 1874 Mycobacterium leprae, also known as Hansen’s bacillus, is the bacterium that causes leprosy (Hansens disease). ... For the malady found in the Hebrew Bible, see the article Tzaraath. ... Binomial name Mycobacterium phlei Lehmann & Neumann 1899 Mycobacterium phlei is a Gram-positive, acid-fast bacteria of the genus Mycobacterium. ... Mycobacterium smegatis is a bacterium species in the genus Mycobacterium. ... Binomial name Mycobacterium tuberculosis Zopf 1883 Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the bacterium that causes most cases of tuberculosis[1]. It was first described on March 24, 1882 by Robert Koch, who subsequently received the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for this discovery in 1905. ... Tuberculosis (commonly shortened to TB) is an infection caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which most commonly affects the lungs (pulmonary TB) but can also affect the central nervous system (meningitis), lymphatic system, circulatory system (Miliary tuberculosis), genitourinary system, bones and joints. ... Buruli ulcer is an infectious disease caused by the Mycobacterium ulcerans, from the same family of bacteria which causes tuberculosis and leprosy. ... Binomial name Mycobacterium xenopi Mycobacterium xenopi is a slow-growing scotochromogenic species of Mycobacterium. ...

Staining

  • Fite’s stain
  • Ziehl-Neelsen stain
  • Kinyoun stain

The Ziehl-Neelsen stain, also known as the acid-fast stain, was first described by two german doctors; Franz Ziehl (1859 to 1926), a bacteriologist and Friedrich Neelsen (1854 to 1894), a pathologist. ...

Reference

  • Diagnosis and Treatment of Disease Caused by Nontuberculous Mycobacteria. American Thoracic Society. Am J Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. Aug 1997 156(2) Part 2 Supplement PDF format

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