Microbiology 3302 Spring 2013 – Getting Friendly with Bacteria

Hello my fellow friends! Though I am a little late, I always like to make an unexpected entrance. My name is Neisseria meningitidis but I am most famous for meningococcal meningitis or better known as Meningitis. I am a pathogen that is famous for hanging out in plenty of Universities looking out for frisky behavior. I am siblings with Neisseria Gonorrhea, who also LOVES frisky behavior (but affects the reproductive system). Since I am older, I must say I have way more power over my host than he does. I have to tell you about my make up. I shield myself with a capsule made from Lipoligosaccharide. My other virulence factor is that I have fimbrae which helps me attach to my hosts epithelial cells. I gram stain as a gram negative diploococcus shape and I am an aerobic organism who requires mineral salts, lactate, some amino acids such as cysteine, and glutamic acid in order to metabolize. I unexpectedly make my way into my young hosts (babies or hormone driven young adults) through exchange of respiratory secretions such kissing, chewing on toys or coughing.Once I get in, (oh, you dont want me to get in) I can easily take control by going to the mother board of the ship. I invade your brain, spinal cord and can also cause blood stream infections. Because I can invade these important areas, I am one of the most lethal of my kind. My distant friend streptococcus pneumonia also does the same thing but keep him away from you babies, he loves to feed off them! But a better friend of mine is Burkholderia cepacia; we went to the same school together. I can fool you by making you think you are fatigued, but it can progress and turn into a state where I own you and you no longer have control of your own body. Somehow, they have found ways to detect me and kill me off quickly, or they somehow manage to have weaker clones of me who immediately attack me! My favorite hosts to invade are children who are susceptible to me and hosts that dont have enough of that army called “the white blood cells”. I seem to be able to get in if there are only a few of them present. Most hosts fear me because I am that powerful. But if they really wanted to defeat me, they would learn and stop swapping spit!

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neisseria_meningitidis

http://www.ppdictionary.com/bacteria/gnbac/meningitidis.htm

http://microbewiki.kenyon.edu/index.php/Neisseria_meningitidis

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