Could anybody tell me the origin of the word mycobacterium?

Richard A. Murphy U14663 at UICVM.UIC.EDU
Wed Apr 2 16:31:44 EST 1997

David A. Mullin wrote:
> Species of Mycobacterium can form
> filaments, like the famous cords that form in many clinical isolates
> of M. tuberculosis.  These long filaments are reminiscent of fungal
> hyphi hence the Myco of Mycobacteria.
This explanation is closest to Burgey's:
Myces (Greek) a fungus;
bakterion (Greek) a small rod;
Mycobacterium a fungus rodlet.

If memory serves me correctly, the classification of Mycobacterium
went back and forth from believing they were bacteria to believing
they were fungi.   Hence the name.

Dick Murphy
|Richard A. Murphy, PhD              Internet: murph at        |
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