[L. bacillus, diminutive of baculum, a staff, walking stick]
A genus of gram-positive, spore-forming, often aerobic, rod-shaped bacteria in the family Bacillaceae. The bacteria grow singly or in chains. Most inhabit soil and water. Some, such as B. anthracis and B. cereus, cause serious human diseases.
A species that is the causative agent of anthrax. It is one of two bacteria that produces a protein capsule and the only pathogenic bacterium to have the edema factor. (The other bacterium that produces a protein capsule is Yersinia pestis.)
SEE: anthrax toxin; SEE: edema factor; SEE: Yersinia pestis
A species that causes two types of food poisoning syndromes: emesis and diarrhea. Type 1, the emetic syndrome, is caused by the production of a heat-stable cereulide (a small, heat-stable dodecadepsipeptide), which can damage the host cell mitochondria and in rare cases cause liver damage. Foods containing large amounts of rice are more likely to cause the type 1 syndrome. The emetic toxin may not be destroyed by brief cooking. Type 2, the diarrheal syndrome, is caused by production of the heat-labile enterotoxins hemolysin BL and nonhemolytic enterotoxin. These enterotoxins stimulate the adenylate cyclase-cyclic adenosine monophosphate system in intestinal epithelial cells, leading to profuse watery diarrhea. Foods commonly associated with type 2 syndrome are meat and vegetables.
SEE: heat-labile enterotoxin; SEE: heat-stable enterotoxin
A species that may survive disinfection or sterilization. Its presence on a clinical instrument or surface is an indicator of inadequate sterility.
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