The term bacillus comes from the Latin word bacillum, which can be translated as “cotton swab”. The concept is used in the field of biology to name one bacterium which has such a shape.
The bacilli, thus, are bacteria elongated body that can be found in different environments. Many bacilli are pathogenic for humans, although not all have a negative impact.
It is common for bacilli to be classified according to their reaction to Gram stain. When the violet crystal is fixed on the cell wall (as the chemical compound that acts as a dye is known), we speak of a Gram positive bacillus. On the other hand, when such fixation does not occur, the bacterium is a Gram negative bacillus.
Many bacilli are known by the name of their discoverer. The Koch bacillus, for example, discovered by Robert Koch in the 19th century, is the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which causes the tuberculosis, a disease which begins by affecting the lungs and can then spread to the rest of the organism until causing death.
The gender Mycobacterium, to which this bacillus belongs, has thirty species approximately, of which six are disease-causing. It is about the type genre of Mycobacteriaceae, the family that is in the suborder Corynebacteinae, belonging to the order Actinomycetales.
Koch’s bacillus is characterized by growing at a significantly slower rate than other bacteria; more precisely, his division it may take up to sixteen hours. On the plate, it is sometimes necessary to wait two weeks to begin to see the colonies. Since its discovery is quite old, its genome has been completely sequenced, and for this reason it is possible to differentiate the four species that make up the complex.
Our immune system it has many targets that can be attacked on the wall of the bacteria. In recent years, scientists have found species that resist the effect of normal antibiotics, such as ampicillin and rifampin. According to the number of antibiotics that are capable of resisting, they can be classified as multi-resistant or ultra-resistant strains. Some studies indicate that this capacity may be due to certain mutations in intergenic areas of the genome.
Another aspect that makes Koch’s bacilli especially strong is their resistance to low temperatures, although this is contrasted with their sensitivity to heat and their vulnerability to heat. pasteurization. This bacillus needs oxygen to grow properly. When faced with adverse conditions, you can encapsulate yourself to deal with threats.
The Hansen’s bacillus, on the other hand, is the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae, causing the leprosy. This disease generates spots and nodules that destroy the fabrics and cartilage and can cause mutilations. Another well-known bacillus is the by Aertrycke, origin of salmonella.
It is important to note that there are beneficial bacilli for human being. The Lactobacillus casei, which lives in the mouth and intestines of people, is a bacterium that is used to produce yoghurt and that contributes to improving the digestive process.
The dairy industry takes advantage of the properties of this lactic acid-producing bacillus to make probiotic foods, that is, those that have live microorganisms in their composition, thanks to which the Health whoever consumes them can be highly benefited.
Various studies have shown that Lactobacillus casei it is a species particularly resistant to a wide range of temperature and pH. These aspects are very important in its effectiveness, since must pass through gastric, duodenal and bile juices without being affected on the way to the gut, where expected to arrive intact.