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a genus of bacteria, related to actinomycetes; it differs from true bacteria in a number of ways. The young vegetative cells are rodlike (0.5–0.8 × 2.2 microns); they are capable of branching and acquiring V or Y shapes. In old cultures spherical cells predominate. Mycobacteria, which do not form endospores, are nonmotile, gram-positive, and strictly aerobic. They reproduce mainly by dividing and budding. Mycobacteria contain carotenoids, and, as a result, their colonies are often pigmented (yellow, orange, or red). Owing to their cell composition (including lipides and wax), some myco-bacteria, in contrast to other bacteria, are acid-fast.

Mycobacteria are widely distributed in soils and are active in the mineralization of plant remains. Some species of Mycobacterium are nitrogen-fixing microorganisms; others are capable of metabolizing the carbohydrates of petroleum and natural gas and, when cultured, accumulate protein, which is used for fodder and other purposes. Some species of Mycobacterium are pathogenic to humans (for example, mycobacteria are the causative agents of tuberculosis and leprosy).


References in periodicals archive ?
Mycobacterium avium complex-associated hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis in a sickle cell patient: an unusual fatal association.
Hypercalcaemia: a clue to Mycobacterium avium intracellulare infection in a patient with AIDS.
Mycobacterium avium bacteremia and dual infection with Mycobacterium avium and Mycobacterium wolinskyi in the gut of an AIDS patient – First case report.
Sources of Mycobacterium avium complex infection resulting in human diseases.
Since 2001, Infectious Diseases Incorporated (IDI) has been actively involved in research involving Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis.
Mycobacterium avium complex en paciente inmunocompetente.
Epidemiology and ecology of opportunistic premise plumbing pathogens: Legionella pneumophila, Mycobacterium avium, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
In the present study efficacy of microscopy as 'field laboratory test' was evaluated with respect to specific blood PCR and was used for estimation of prevalence of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis in small and large ruminant population endemic and suspected with clinical Johne's disease.
Aging, COPD and other risk factors do not explain the increased prevalence of pulmonary Mycobacterium avium complex in Ontario.

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