Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options Skip directly to A-Z link Skip directly to A-Z link Skip directly to A-Z link
Volume 14, Number 3—March 2008
News and Notes

Etymologia: Mycobacterium

Cite This Article

[mi′-ko-bak-tēr-eәm]

From the Greek—myces (fungus) and baktērion (little rod)

The only genus of bacteria in the family Mycobacteriaceae. In 1882, German scientist Robert Koch reported the discovery of a bacillus from the lung tubercles that caused tuberculosis. Earlier, Norwegian researcher G.H.A. Hansen had identified a similar microbe which caused leprosy. In 1896, the genus name Mycobacterium, from the Middle Latin noun meaning fungus rodlet, was proposed to include these new pathogens, M. tuberculosis and M. leprae. The name does not mean that mycobacteria are fungi; rather, the tubercle bacilli grow on the surface of liquid media as moldlike pellicles when cultured. The nomotile, acid-fast, aerobic organisms in this genus cause numerous human and animal diseases.

Sources: Savin JA, Wilkinson DS. Mycobacterial infections including tuberculosis. In: Rook A, Wilkinson DS, Ebling FJG, Champion RH, Burton JL, editors. Textbook of dermatology. Vol.1, 4th ed. Boston: Blackwell Scientific Publications; 1986. p. 791–822. Goodfellow M, Magee JG. Taxonomy of mycobacteria. In: Mycobacteria: basic aspects. Gangadharam PRJ, Jenkins PA, editors. Boca Raton (FL): Chapman & Hall; 1998. p.1. Wayne LG. The “atypical” mycobacteria: recognition and disease association. CRC Crit Rev Microbiol. 1985;12:185–222.

Top

Cite This Article

DOI: 10.3201/eid1403.et1403

Table of Contents – Volume 14, Number 3—March 2008

Page created: June 07, 2012
Page updated: May 04, 2017
Page reviewed: May 04, 2017
The conclusions, findings, and opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.
file_external