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Bacterial structure and functions
Bacillus anthracis (Anthrax)
Bacillus cereus (Food poisoning)
Corynebacterium diphtheriae (Diphtheria)
Clostridium botulinum (Botulism)
Clostridium difficile (Pseudomembranous colitis)
Clostridium tetani (Tetanus)
Streptococcus agalactiae (Group B Strep)
Streptococcus pyogenes (Group A Strep)
Bartonella henselae (Cat-scratch disease and Bacillary angiomatosis)
Legionella pneumophila (Legionnaires disease and Pontiac fever)
Salmonella typhi (typhoid fever)
Yersinia pestis (Plague)
Vibrio cholerae (Cholera)
Bordetella pertussis (Whooping cough)
Francisella tularensis (Tularemia)
Haemophilus ducreyi (Chancroid)
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Tuberculosis)
Mycobacterium avium complex (NORD)
Gardnerella vaginalis (Bacterial vaginosis)
Coxiella burnetii (Q fever)
Ehrlichia and Anaplasma
Rickettsia rickettsii (Rocky Mountain spotted fever) and other Rickettsia species
Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease)
Borrelia species (Relapsing fever)
Treponema pallidum (Syphilis)
0 / 14 complete
0 / 3 complete
Mycoplasma pneumoniae p. , 148
anemia and p. 415
erythema multiforme p. 490
tetracyclines p. 189
Mycoplasma pneumoniae is a small bacterium which causes atypical pneumonia in young adults.
Mycoplasma, as a genus, have a cell membrane that is packed with sterols, but they lack a proper, rigid cell wall.
Therefore, they don’t take up dye under Gram staining, so they can’t be visualized with light microscopy.
Additionally, they are highly pleomorphic bacteria, meaning they have no fixed shape and size, and they’re also osmotically unstable in the external environment.
So, to survive, Mycoplasmas invade host cells and live intracellularly.
Now, Mycoplasma pneumoniae is a facultative anaerobe, meaning it can live without oxygen if it has to, but it grows better in an aerobic environment.
So it prefers places like lungs or respiratory airways, where there is an unlimited flow of oxygen.
As a result, some people may carry this bacteria in their nose or throat, and when they sneeze or cough, these organisms get out in the form of small respiratory droplets.
And when other people inhale these droplets, they may get infected, especially when they spend a lot of time together in close quarters.
So Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections occur mostly in children who go to school, young adults in college, or military recruits.
Following inhalation of the pathogen droplets, Mycoplasma pneumoniae attaches to an epithelial cell in the respiratory tract, using a specialized attachment organelle which has an adhesive protein complex, called ‘adhesion protein P1’ at its tip.
Adhesion protein P1 attaches to the host cell surface, like the respiratory epithelial cell, and holds on for dear life.
This makes it much harder for the mucociliary clearance mechanisms, which normally remove any foreign pathogen out of the respiratory tract, to clear the bacteria.
So Mycoplasma pneumoniae multiplies and damages the respiratory epithelial cells in the process.
When they reach the lungs, this starts a local inflammatory response, and lung tissue fills with white blood cells, proteins, fluid, and even red blood cells if a nearby capillary gets damaged in the process - leading to a local cytotoxic effect.
So Mycoplasma pneumoniae avoid the battlefield by sneaking inside lung cells, where they remain dormant or replicate intracellularly.
Mycoplasma pneumoniae is a type of bacteria that causes a type of pneumonia known as "walking pneumonia", because affected people may not feel very sick, as opposed to typical pneumonia. Mycoplasma pneumonia presents with milder symptoms, such as gradual onset of symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, and fatigue.
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