Spirochete

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spirochete

[′spī·rə‚kēt]
(microbiology)
The common name for any member of the order Spirochaetales.

Spirochete

 

a bacterium, measuring 0.1–0.6 micrometer in diameter and 5–500 micrometers in length, in the form of an elongated coiled spiral. The majority of species have a slender axis filament around which the body of the cell is spirally coiled. Spirochetes lack flagella and are characterized by undulating movements, during which the cells rotate around their long axis. Reproduction is by transverse fission.

Spirochetes may be nonpathogenic or pathogenic. The former inhabit freshwaters, and the latter parasitize mollusks and cause syphilis in man (Treponema pallidum), relapsing fever (Borrelia recurrentis), and other spirochetoses. Under artificial conditions, nonpathogenic spirochetes grow on ordinary nutrient mediums and pathogenic spirochetes grow on mediums that contain serum and pieces of fresh tissue or the internal organs of animals. Some forms have not yet been grown in the laboratory.

References in classic literature ?
Thoughtless friends jeer at it, and even my landlady herself has no admiration for it, and excuses its presence by the circumstance that her aunt gave it to her.
His fault was more thoughtless than wicked, but that did not alter the fact that he had committed a fault.
Here was a wonderful instance of consideration from the thoughtless Miss Murray.
That thoughtless deity immediately plunged into the pool, which became so salivated that the trees about its margin all came loose and dropped out.
Indeed he flatters himself that it will be found profitable for "old and young, for men and for women, the married and the single, the idle and the studious, the merry and the sad; and that it may sometimes inspire the thoughtless with thought, and sometimes beguile the careful of their cares.
There's some turrible thoughtless people in the world, Mistress Blythe.
At this early hour many sickly girls, whose business, like that of the poor worm, is to produce, with patient toil, the finery that bedecks the thoughtless and luxurious, traverse our streets, making towards the scene of their daily labour, and catching, as if by stealth, in their hurried walk, the only gasp of wholesome air and glimpse of sunlight which cheer their monotonous existence during the long train of hours that make a working day.
So saying, the thoughtless fellow lit a match by striking it on the sole of his boot; and approached the burner fixed to the receptacle, in which the carbonized hydrogen, stored at high pressure, sufficed for the lighting and warming of the projectile for a hundred and forty-four hours, or six days and six nights.
Is it better to reveal the snares and pitfalls of life to the young and thoughtless traveller, or to cover them with branches and flowers?
He was indeed a thoughtless, giddy youth, with little sobriety in his manners, and less in his countenance; and would often very impudently and indecently laugh at his companion for his serious behaviour.
And he shut up any of his thoughtless comrades who attempted to allude to his connection.
In disposition entirely unlike his brother Frederick, he was the spoilt darling of society, especially of the women--an easy, light-hearted, impulsive, affectionate man--generous to a fault-- constitutionally lax in his principles, and notoriously thoughtless of moral obligations where women were concerned.