Mycobacteria_Prokaryotes_2006_medical

Mycobacteria_Prokaryotes_2006_medical - CHAPTER 1 . 1 . 19...

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Unformatted text preview: CHAPTER 1 . 1 . 19 T h e G e n u s M y c o b a c t e r i u m--M e d i c a l The Genu s Mycobacterium Med i cal BEATRICE SAVIOLA AND WILLIAM BISHAI Introduction The genu s Mycobacterium encompa ss e s a num- ber of med i cally i mportant s pec i e s that exact an alarm i ng toll i n human morb i d i ty and mortal i ty . Indeed the World Health Organ i zat i on (WHO) e s t i mate s that nearly one th i rd of the world s populat i on (1 . 8 b i ll i on people) are i nfected w i th Mycobacterium tuberculosis , the cau s e of tuberculo sis (TB) (http : //www . who . org) . In 1993, the WHO declared a global emergency ow i ng to the fact that TB wa s ep i dem i c i n many area s of the world . Other mycobacter i al d is ea s e s con- t i nue to plague the world s populat i on s a s well . Mycobacterium leprae , the cau s e of lepro s y, per- sis t s i n develop i ng countr i e s , and other mycobac- ter i a (ord i nar i ly nonpathogen s ) have now become threat s to i nd i v i dual s i nfected w i th the human i mmunodefic i ency v i ru s (HIV) . Mycobacter i a have s haped the cour s e of human h is tory . Indeed unt i l 1900, TB wa s one of the ch i ef cau s e s of death i n Europe and the Amer i ca s. The nature of the d is ea s e, however, rema i ned poorly under s tood and a s a te s t i mon i al to th is fact i t s contag i ou s ne ss wa s the s ub j ect of heated debate well i nto the 18th and 19th centu- r i e s. For many year s , p s ycholog i cal and i nher i ted factor s were thought to pred is po s e i nd i v i dual s to the d is ea s e . However, other s thought that a con- tag i ou s agent wa s the culpr i t . Th is debate ended only after the bac i llu s Mycobacterium tuberculo- sis wa s i dent i fied a s the cau s at i ve agent of TB . Jean Anto i ne V i llem i n i n 1868 wa s the fir s t to tran s m i t TB from man to rabb i t (Haa s and Haa s , 1996) . A s a m i l i tary doctor, he had ob s erved that many young healthy m i l i tary per s onnel hou s ed i n barrack s eventually s uccumbed to TB . He al s o noted that a d is proport i onate number of i nd i v i d- ual s w i th act i ve TB were pr is oner s , i ndu s tr i al worker s , member s of clo is tered rel i g i ou s order s a s well a s m i l i tary per s onnel ; all of them were hou s ed together w i th many other people . V i llem i n s peculated that TB wa s tran s m issi ble . He u s ed mater i al (gray and s oft tubercle s ) from human s who had s uccumbed to TB a s well a s blood and s putum from tuberculou s pat i ent s to i nfect rabb i t s. The i noculated rabb i t s i ndeed developed patholog i c ev i dence of tuberculo sis. Then i n 1882, Robert Koch wa s the fir s t to v i ew Mycobacterium tuberculosis through a l i ght m i cro s cope . He wa s then able to grow M. tuber- culosis i n pure culture, i nfect gu i nea p i g s w i th the bac i ll i , and re is olate bacter i a from the s e an i mal s (Adler and Ro s e, 1996) . Thu s a new era of myco- bacter i a re...
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This note was uploaded on 08/06/2008 for the course ESM 219 taught by Professor Holden during the Fall '07 term at UCSB.

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Mycobacteria_Prokaryotes_2006_medical - CHAPTER 1 . 1 . 19...

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