Chapter 6 : Cultivation of for Research Purposes

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Individual investigators have different reasons for cultivating in their laboratories; the medium to be used and the conditions of incubation should be tailored to the specific goals, taking into account the physiologic characteristics of this organism. A classic description of , which would be only partially accurate, might characterize this organism as a fastidious, slowly growing, strictly aerobic, lipid-rich, hydrophobic, acid-fast bacterial rod. Much of the early research on the tubercle bacillus was directed toward production of tuberculin or other crude chemical products of the bacilli, such as unique lipids or polysaccharides. The growth of tubercle bacilli in the synthetic media cited is difficult to follow in quantitative terms, as it cannot be measured optically and since simple plating is not accurate because of the severe clumping of the bacilli. Media based on a Tween 80-albumin formulation are satisfactory for cultivation of tubercle bacilli for studies of growth rates and kinetics and, in most cases, for preparation of bacilli for chemical extraction. Glycerol has commonly been used in media when large crops of bacilli are desired, since this carbohydrate markedly stimulates growth of (note that glycerol inhibits growth of fresh isolates of the closely related ). is known to produce enzymes of anaerobic metabolism, and these are especially prominent when bacilli are tested after direct harvest from host tissues; there is a general shift away from O-dependent pathways to anaerobic or facultative anaerobic pathways in host derived bacilli compared to cultured organisms.

Citation: Wayne L. 1994. Cultivation of for Research Purposes, p 73-83. In Bloom B (ed), Tuberculosis. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818357.ch6
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Image of Figure 1.
Figure 1.

Eight-day growth of in Tween-albumin broth incubated in a gradient temperature block. Growth is expressed as optical absorbance (A). Triplicate tubes were incubated at each temperature, and the results were plotted as the mean A, with vertical bars spanning ±1 standard deviation.

Citation: Wayne L. 1994. Cultivation of for Research Purposes, p 73-83. In Bloom B (ed), Tuberculosis. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818357.ch6
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