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Chapter 26 : Bacillus and Other Aerobic Endospore-Forming Bacteria*

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Bacillus and Other Aerobic Endospore-Forming Bacteria*, Page 1 of 2

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Abstract:

Aerobic endospore-forming bacteria are ubiquitous in nature. Because endospores are resistant to heat, desiccation, radiation, and disinfectants, they are found in terrestrial and aquatic habitats of all kinds and persist in places where most other organisms cannot. Dissemination of spores, via aerosols, wind, and dust, contributes to contamination of health care facilities, industrial clean rooms, and food production environments. Although commonly encountered in the microbiology laboratory, the majority of aerobic endospore-forming bacteria are nonpathogenic and of no clinical relevance. The few clinically significant species of , , , , and are best described as opportunistic human pathogens. Transmission is restricted to ingestion, injection, injury, inhalation, or other contact with material that has been contaminated with spores or vegetative cells. Several environmental species are professional pathogens of invertebrates, and toxigenic strains of the group are an important cause of food poisoning, but only is recognized as an obligate pathogen of animals. Clinical and laboratory expertise is a critical components of rapid anthrax diagnosis. Due to the biothreat potential of . , many jurisdictions regulate possession and transportation of this agent, and testing requires enhanced safety precautions and training.

Citation: Turenne C, Snyder J, Alexander D. 2015. Bacillus and Other Aerobic Endospore-Forming Bacteria*, p 441-461. In Jorgensen J, Pfaller M, Carroll K, Funke G, Landry M, Richter S, Warnock D (ed), Manual of Clinical Microbiology, Eleventh Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817381.ch26
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FIGURE 1

(a) Gram stain of , associated with a bioterrorism attack, showing Gram-positive rods in peripheral blood buffy coat following admission of patient. Bar, 3 μm. (Courtesy of H. Masur.) (b) Spore-stained preparation of sporangia, viewed by bright-field microscopy. Spores are stained green, and vegetative cells are counterstained red. Bar, 2 μm. (Photograph kindly provided by M. Rodríguez-Díaz.) doi:10.1128/9781555817381.ch26.f1

Citation: Turenne C, Snyder J, Alexander D. 2015. Bacillus and Other Aerobic Endospore-Forming Bacteria*, p 441-461. In Jorgensen J, Pfaller M, Carroll K, Funke G, Landry M, Richter S, Warnock D (ed), Manual of Clinical Microbiology, Eleventh Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817381.ch26
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Image of FIGURE 2
FIGURE 2

Photomicrographs of endospore-forming bacteria viewed by bright-field microscopy (a) and phase-contrast microscopy (b to l). Bars, 2 μm. (a) , M’Fadyean stain showing capsulate rods in guinea pig blood smear; (b) , broad cells with ellipsoidal, subterminal spores, not swelling the sporangia; (c) , broad cells with ellipsoidal, subterminal spores, not swelling the sporangia, and showing parasporal crystals of insecticidal toxin (arrows); (d) , broad cells with ellipsoidal and spherical, subterminal and terminal spores, not swelling the sporangia, and showing PHB inclusions (arrows); (e) , ellipsoidal, central and subterminal spores, not swelling the sporangia; (f) , slender cells with cylindrical, subterminal spores, not swelling the sporangia; (g) , ellipsoidal, subterminal spores, swelling the sporangia; (h) , spherical, terminal spores, swelling the sporangia; (i) , ellipsoidal, subterminal spores, one swelling its sporangium slightly; (j) , ellipsoidal, central spores with thickened rims on one side (arrow), swelling the sporangia; (k) , ellipsoidal, paracentral to subterminal spores, swelling the sporangia slightly; (l) , cells with tapered ends, ellipsoidal, paracentral to subterminal spores, not swelling the sporangium. doi:10.1128/9781555817381.ch26.f2

Citation: Turenne C, Snyder J, Alexander D. 2015. Bacillus and Other Aerobic Endospore-Forming Bacteria*, p 441-461. In Jorgensen J, Pfaller M, Carroll K, Funke G, Landry M, Richter S, Warnock D (ed), Manual of Clinical Microbiology, Eleventh Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817381.ch26
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Image of FIGURE 3
FIGURE 3

Colonies of endospore-forming bacteria on blood agar (a to i) and nutrient agar (j to l) after 24 to 36 h at 37°C. Bars, 2 mm. (a) ; (b) ; (c) ; (d) ; (e) ; (f) ; (g) ; (h) ; (i) ; (j) ; (k) ; (l) doi:10.1128/9781555817381.ch26.f3

Citation: Turenne C, Snyder J, Alexander D. 2015. Bacillus and Other Aerobic Endospore-Forming Bacteria*, p 441-461. In Jorgensen J, Pfaller M, Carroll K, Funke G, Landry M, Richter S, Warnock D (ed), Manual of Clinical Microbiology, Eleventh Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817381.ch26
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Tables

Generic image for table
TABLE 1

Characters for differentiating some species of , , and

Citation: Turenne C, Snyder J, Alexander D. 2015. Bacillus and Other Aerobic Endospore-Forming Bacteria*, p 441-461. In Jorgensen J, Pfaller M, Carroll K, Funke G, Landry M, Richter S, Warnock D (ed), Manual of Clinical Microbiology, Eleventh Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817381.ch26

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