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Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Tuberculosis - MTB)

Synonyms: Mycobacterium tuberculosis tuberculosis

Wikipedia Abstract

Mycobacterium tuberculosis is an obligate pathogenic bacterial species in the family Mycobacteriaceae and the causative agent of tuberculosis. First discovered in 1882 by Robert Koch, M. tuberculosis has an unusual, waxy coating on its cell surface (primarily due to the presence of mycolic acid), which makes the cells impervious to Gram staining; M. tuberculosis can appear Gram-negative and Gram-positive in clinical settings. The Ziehl-Neelsen stain, or acid-fast stain, is used instead. The physiology of M. tuberculosis is highly aerobic and requires high levels of oxygen. Primarily a pathogen of the mammalian respiratory system, it infects the lungs. The most frequently used diagnostic methods for tuberculosis are the tuberculin skin test, acid-fast stain, and chest radiographs.
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1Nunn, C. L., and S. Altizer. 2005. The Global Mammal Parasite Database: An Online Resource for Infectious Disease Records in Wild Primates. Evolutionary Anthroplogy 14:1-2.
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