Microbiology 3302 Spring 2013 – Getting Friendly with Bacteria

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    Hello fellow pathogenic and non- pathogenic friends, my name is Bacillus anthracis, I have a cool rod shaped cell structure that produces a polypeptide capsule that protects me from getting eaten (phagocytosis), so unlike some of you I tend to stick around for a long time. I am pretty strong and resistance in all strange conditions, such as chemicals and heat. So, I am pretty awesome. I give a Gram-positive reaction and I love spitting out spores occasionally to make animals and humans sick, and my name on the street is commonly Anthrax. Do not bother trying to isolate me, it’ll probably be too late since I love and breathe oxygen (aerobic).: I am a foodie at heart and survive off organic nutrients so I am more of a heterotroph. I would confess that I am not alone most pathogenic bacteria are heterotrophs.
    To get away from the stress my normal abode is in soil. I try not to be mean but when I am disturb or in the presence of a human or mainly an animal I just get a little too friendly and start to migrate into their lungs and digestive system with my spores. However, I am not friendly with everyone I tend to gravitate towards farmers, butchers and veterinarian surgeons.
    Unfortunately, I am a pathogen. So I suggest that everyone take high precaution. Humans can be infected in three unsightly ways by me. Such as forming skin lesions by cutaneous anthrax, intestinal anthrax from eating infected meat, and pulmonary anthrax results from inhaling my spores.
    My virulence factors are its capsule and three-component toxin. Which is “poly-y-D-glutamic acid polypeptide capsule,” and this toxin consists of three proteins: protective antigen, lethal factor, and edema factor. My cousins are Bacillus and Clostridium which we are part of the Bacillaceae family, we share so much in common especially being able to form spores.
    In my classification tree I am of Low G+C Gram Positive: falling under producing endospores, along with clostridiales (anaerobic) and Bacillales (aerobic and facultative anaerobic). I used to only be well known as a herbivore pathogen and rarely any harm to humans. However I became a biological weapon to cause harm on more individuals than I antipicated. for example,in 2001 I was most hated for being used as part of a terrorist attack in United States. A virulent strain of anthrax was mailed to senators killing 5 people which caused pulmonary anthrax, from inhaling spore-laden dust. The upside to that is, if you had a received a bill that you never wanted to open everyone had the chance to blame it on me.


    Microbiology, Bacillus anthracis,Bioquell.com (2013) Retrieved from: http://www.bioquell.com/technology/microbiology/bacillus-anthracis/

    Medical Microbiology 4th edition by Peter C. B. Turnbull(1996) Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK7699/

    Retrieved from: https://sites.google.com/site/allmicrobiologysite/medical-microbiology-ii/summary-of-bacterial-pathogens/bacillus-anthracis



    Hey Bacillus anthracis,
    I am a Gram +ve, aerobic, organic lover too.
    We could be good friends!

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