alexa General characteristics of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

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General characteristics of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a fairly large nonmotile rod-shaped bacterium distantly related to the Actinomycetes. Many non pathogenic mycobacteria are components of the normal flora of humans, found most often in dry and oily locales. The rods are 2-4 micrometers in length and 0.2-0.5 um in width. Mycobacterium tuberculosis is an obligate aerobe. For this reason, in the classic case of tuberculosis, MTB complexes are always found in the well-aerated upper lobes of the lungs. The bacterium is a facultative intracellular parasite, usually of macrophages, and has a slow generation time, 15-20 hours, a physiological characteristic that may contribute to its virulence. Two media are used to grow MTB Middlebrook's medium which is an agar based medium and Lowenstein-Jensen medium which is an egg based medium. MTB colonies are small and buff colored when grown on either medium. Both types of media contain inhibitors to keep contaminants from out-growing MT. It takes 4-6 weeks to get visual colonies on either type of media.

 
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