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Volume 17, Number 9—September 2011


Etymologia: Mycobacterium chelonae

Nancy MännikköComments to Author 
Author affiliation: Author affiliation: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA

Suggested citation for this article

[mi′′ko-bak-tēr-eəm che′lō-nae]

From the Greek mycēs, fungus, baktērion, little rod, and chelōnē, turtle. German researcher Friedrich Freidmann reported isolation of this pathogen from the lung tissues of sea turtles (Chelona corticata) in 1903, referring to it as the turtle tubercle bacillus. In 1920, the Society of American Bacteriologists recommended that the organism be named after its discoverer, or Mycobacterium friedmannii. Bergey et al., however, chose in 1923 to instead recognize the host animal in the first edition of Bergey’s Manual of Determinative Bacteriology and listed the bacterium as Mycobacterium chelonei. The spelling was changed in the 1980s to chelonae to make it consistent with general use.

Sources: Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary. 31st ed. Philadelphia: Saunders; 2007; Grange JM. Mycobacterium chenolei. Tubercle. 1981;62:273–6.PubMed; Topley & Wilson’s Microbiology and Microbial Infections. Bacteriology, 10th ed., Vol. 2. London: Hodder Arnold; 2005.

Suggested citation for this article: Männikkö N. Etymologia: Mycobacterium chelonae. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the Internet]. 2011 Sep [date cited]. http://dx.doi/org/10.3201/eid1709.ET1709

DOI: 10.3201/eid1709.ET1709

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Table of Contents – Volume 17, Number 9—September 2011


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Nancy Männikkö, EID Journal, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd NE, Mailstop D61, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA

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