Microbiology 3302 Spring 2013 – Getting Friendly with Bacteria

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    Hi to all microorganisms out there, My name is Mycobacterium tuberculosis. I’ll be sharing my information about who I am, what I do, where I live and such. Many of you might have already heard of me because I cause the disease known as tuberculosis, or TB.
    I am nor gram positive or gram negative. Because of my cell wall, I stain poorly with the gram stain. However, I am acid fast gram positive bacilli. I am slender , non-motile, curved rod shaped and I am resistant to acids, alkalis, and dehydration. My cell wall contains complex waxes and glycolipids. I am aerobic , which means I need oxygen to grow.
    I normally live in the lungs. I am an obligate pathogen. I enter the alveoli by airborne transmission. I resist destruction by macrophages and multiply and spread to the lymph nodes , enter the circulation and reside in the lungs.
    I am a facultative intracellular pathogen and reside in my only known host which are humans .I reside chiefly within the macrophage phagosome, the cell type, and compartment most committed to my eradication. I have evolved my metabolic network to both maintain and propagate my survival within a single host. My genome contains about 4000 genes. My genome encodes about 190 transcriptional regulators. I have learned to adapt to the environment by allowing or inhibiting transcription according to my surroundings.
    Although I don’t have classical virulence factors as others, mines are much more complicated. I do have structural and physiological properties that contribute to my virulence .I tend to divide very slow compared to others .I have an unusual cell wall that are rich in lipids. I can grow intracellularly and can evade the immune system.
    Moreover, I belong to the Mycobacterium group. Mycobacterium leprae is part of my family. M. leprae is my cousin. Some of my friends are Nocardia asteroids, Gardnerella vaginalis, Corynebacterium diphteriae, and Propionibacterium acnes.They are all in my class!
    I have been famous for quite some time now. I am one of the leading infectious cause of death and I affect more than 1.8 billion people/year. I was the cause of the “White Plague” during the 17th and 18th centuries in Europe.

    See attached file.

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