Microbiology 3302 Spring 2013 – Getting Friendly with Bacteria

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    Keila Torres

    Hello there! My name is Haemophilus influenzae, but I like to be called H. influenzae for short! I was first discovered during the Influenza panemic, and for a long time I was mistakenly blamed for causing Influenza. Eventually in 1930 it was discovered that I was actually a secondary infection. I like to live in aerobic conditions, but if I cannot I will settle for fermentation as a way to metabolize. I have two forms that I take on, encapsulated or uncapsulated. My uncapsulated form is not as virulent as my encapsulated form, but can cause sinusitis and tracheobronchitis. My encapsulated form packs a wallop! It is responsible for meningitis, epiglottitis, and bacteremia. This reason behind this is my capsule, which can defy phagocytosis, and cause lysis to the blood cells. Since I am an opportunist pathogen, I can travel through airways and not cause any harm to my host. However, you shouldn’t sleep on me! If you give me the right environmental factors (such as a weakened immune system) I can STRIKE! I will do this by charging the epithelium layer of the nasopharnyx, since I tend to live in the respiratory tract. Once here I can resist being caught by the immune system thanks to my handy capsule, and I will attack the capillaries. If you are lucky you will get my nontypable uncapsulated form, and may just get away with some inflammation! Unlike some my other gammaproteobacteria friends, I don’t have flagella, so a simple sneeze is all you need to send me on my way to your friends! If you want to catch me for certain, you should isolate me from apart of the body that doesn’t already contain me! (Remember, I can live in your body already without causing disease) I am kind of hard to please, so if you want to culture me, you will need a chocolate agar. This is because I require hemin and NAD. Because of my long-standing relationship with the human host, I am penicillin resistant. I can be most deadly in adults with weakened immune systems and infants. Since 95% of my diseases come from my type b encapsulated form, the Hib vaccination would be a great idea to avoid me! A cool fact about me is that I am the first non-parasitic organism to have my genome sequence! My smaller size helped me beat E.coli in the finish line.

    Please see attached for photos and references about me



    Let’s be friends fellow Gammaproteobacteria.

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