Mycobacterium

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Mycobacterium

 

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).

A. A. IMSHENETSKII

References in periodicals archive ?
Increasing incidence of Mycobacterium xenopi at Bellevue Hospital: An emerging pathogen or a product of improved laboratory methods?
Mycobacterium other than tuberculosis with an emphasis on Mycobacterium xenopi in clinical specimens of AIDS patients at the University Hospital of Vienna from 1989 to 1996.
Mycobacterium xenopi was first described by Schwaacher in 1959; it was isolated from skin lesions in a clawed frog and named after the official species designation of the frog, Xenopus laevis (1).
Mycobacterium xenopi and related organisms isolated from stream waters in Finland and description of Mycobacterium botniense sp.
Clinical and roentgenographic features of nosocomial pulmonary disease due to Mycobacterium xenopi.