The Pathogenesis of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Essay example

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Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a relatively large (2-4 micrometers in length) rod shaped bacillus that acts as a common human pathogen throughout the world.1 This mycobacterium species is an obligate aerobe, which limits its pathogenicity to the oxygen rich lobes of the lungs. Mycobacterium tuberculosis is non-motile and is characterized by its unusually high cell wall lipid content. M. tuberculosis has several unique clinical characteristics as a result of this unusually high lipid content. This bacterium cannot be stained using the common Gram staining technique and must instead be stained with the Ziehl-Neelsen, or acid fast stain. When stained with Gram’s stain, the result will be very faintly gram positive bacterium due to the …show more content…
The preferred temperature of M. tuberculosis is human body temperature, 37oC, as humans are the reservoir for this particular species of mycobacterium.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is very easily transmitted from person to person as the infectious dosage is very few ingested particles.3 Airborne transmission is the mode of transfer of this bacterium from one human reservoir to the next. M. tuberculosis has numerous methods of evading the immune system of its host. It is rare for the immune system to completely rid the body of this dangerous pathogen, and instead it is often forced into a latent stage of growth in a healthy individual.4 The latent stage of M. tuberculosis may render the bacteria clinically inactive for a period of time however, reactivation of the bacterium can occur.4 It is largely this reactivation, usually during a period of compromised immune function, that Mycobacterium tuberculosis is transmitted to other individuals.4 When an individual with active tuberculosis coughs, the bacterium aerosolizes and is expelled into the air. When a small number of Mycobacterium tuberculosis are ingested by another person, these bacteria often take up residence in phagocytic cells of the lungs.4 As the mycobacterium grow and reproduce in this desirable environment, the host’s immune cells are recruited to the area and soon become infected with the growing population of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.4 With the abundance of host immune

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