/muy'koh bak tear"ee euhm/, n., pl. mycobacteria /-tear"ee euh/. Bacteriol.any of several rod-shaped aerobic bacteria of the genus Mycobacterium, certain species of which, as M. tuberculosis, are pathogenic for humans and animals.[ < NL (1896); see MYCO-, BACTERIUM]
* * *The two most important species cause tuberculosis and leprosy in humans; another species causes tuberculosis in both cattle and humans. Some mycobacteria live on decaying organic matter; others are parasites. Most are found in soil and water in a free-living form or in diseased tissue of animals. Various antibiotics have had some success against mycobacterium infections.
* * *▪ bacteriagenus of rod-shaped bacteria of the family Mycobacteriaceae (order Actinomycetales), the most important species of which, M. tuberculosis and M. leprae, cause tuberculosis and leprosy, respectively, in humans. M. bovis causes tuberculosis in cattle and in humans. Some mycobacteria are saprophytes (i.e., they live on decaying organic matter), and others are obligate parasites. Most are found in soil and water in a free-living form or in diseased tissue of animals. Streptomycin, rifampin, and species-specific antimicrobial agents have had some success in treating Mycobacterium infections.
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