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Research Article Open Access
The emergence of multi-drug resistant-Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MDR-TB), especially the Rifampicin-dependent (R-) MDR-TB, has become a hot issue. To elucidate the potential mechanism that rifampicin-dependent MDR-TB (latent infection) utilizes for its long-term survival, we studied the morphology and L-form growth pattern of rifampicin-dependent MDR-TB. Rifampicin-dependent MDR-TB was isolated from fresh sputum of patients and showed favorable growth in the Rifampicin-containing conditions. Conversely, when R-MDR-TB was cultured in Rifampicin-depleted medium, bacterial growth ceased and MDR-TB transformed into L-form cells. This transformation process was studied over a span of three weeks by both optical microscope and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). At week one, the R-dependent bacteria cultured under rifampicin-null conditions exhibited acid-fast positive fried egg colonies and mycoplasma cell-like morphology. During week 2, the exhibited morphologies of the R-dependent MDR-TB were: acid-fast positive filamentous, granular sphere, cell membrane sugar-coat (filamentous particles aggregations) and protoplasms with various sizes and shapes. The morphologies of R-MDR-TB at week 3 were: tiny translucent colonies and giant sphere, filaments, protoplasm, fried egg colonies and "mycoplasma (filopodia)". These morphologies are typical and representative characteristics of L-form cells growth. These findings reveal the L-form growth of rifampicin-dependent MDR-TB for the first time, and elucidate the potential mechanism of rifampicin-dependent MDR-TB longterm survival (latent infection). This data will help to provide a foundation for novel early diagnosis and effective treatment of R- MDR-TB.
L-phase bacteria, Rifampicindependent cell-wall deficiency, Reproductive mode, Resting spores, Microbiology, Biotechnology, Stress, Manual of Clinical Microbiology, Clinical Microbiology Case Reports, Antimicrobial Activity, Antimicrobial Agents, Antimicrobial Suceptibility, Advances in Biotechniques, Industrial Bioprocessing, Bioprocess and Systems Engineering, Advanced Bioprocess Products,Fermentation in Biotechnology,Clinical Linguistics,Tuberculosis Meningitis