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Part I Acellular and Prokaryotic Microbes

Acellular Infectious Agents:


Viruses Virions are complete viral particles which are very small and simple in structure. Size: 10 to 300nm, or can be up to 1um in length(Ebola virus) 1940: 1st photographs of viruses after the invention of electron microscopes in 1930s

Acellular Infectious Agents:Viruses

Acellular Infectious Agents:Viruses


Viruses contain DNA or RNA And a protein coat called capsid Some are enclosed by an envelope Some viruses have spikes Most viruses infect only specific types of cells in one host Host range is determined by specific host attachment sites and cellular factors

Acellular Infectious Agents:Viruses

1. 2. 3.

Five specific properties that distinguish viruses from living cells:

They possess either DNA or RNA They are unable to replicate on their own They do not divide by binary fission, mitosis, or meiosis They lack the genes and enzymes necessary for energy production They depend on the ribosomes, enzymes, and metabolites of the host cell for protein and nucleic acid production.



Acellular Infectious Agents:Viruses

Viruses are classified by the following characteristics:

Type of genetic material Shape of the capsid Number of capsomeres Size of the capsid Presence or absence of an envelop Type of host that it infects Type of disease it produces Immunologic or antigenic properties

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Acellular Infectious Agents:Viruses

1. 2. 3. 4.

Four categories of viruses based on the type of nucleic acid they possess: Double-stranded RNA viruses Single-stranded RNA viruses Single-stranded DNA viruses Double-stranded DNA viruses

Acellular Infectious Agents:Viruses

Double-stranded DNA, nonenveloped viruses Mastadenovirus


Respiratory infections in humans Tumors in animals

Acellular Infectious Agents:Viruses


Double-stranded DNA, nonenveloped viruses Papillomavirus (human wart virus) Polyomavirus

Cause tumors, some cause cancer

Double-stranded DNA, nonenveloped viruses

Orthopoxvirus (vaccinia and smallpox viruses) Molluscipoxvirus

Smallpox, molluscum contagiosum, cowpox

Double-stranded DNA, nonenveloped viruses


Simplexvirus (HHV1 and HHV 2) Varicellavirus (HHV 3) Lymphocryptovirus (HHV 4) Cytomegalovirus (HHV 5) Roseolovirus (HHV 6) HHV 7 Kaposi's sarcoma (HHV 8)

Some herpesviruses can remain latent in host cells

Double-stranded DNA, nonenveloped viruses

Hepadnavirus (Hepatitis B virus)

Use reverse transcriptase to produce DNA from mRNA

Single-stranded RNA, + strand, nonenveloped


Enteroviruses include poliovirus and coxsackievirus


Rhinovirus Hepatitis A virus

Single-stranded RNA, + strand, nonenveloped


Hepatitis E virus Norovirus (Norwalk agent) causes gastroenteritis

Single-stranded RNA, + strand, nonenveloped


Alphaviruses are transmitted by arthropods; Rubivirus (rubella virus)

Single-stranded RNA, + strand, nonenveloped


Upper respiratory infections

Single-stranded RNA, strand


strand, one RNA

Vesiculovirus Lyssavirus (rabies virus)

Cause numerous animal diseases

Single-stranded RNA, strand

strand, one RNA


Enveloped, helical viruses Ebola and Marburg viruses

Single-stranded RNA, strand, multiple RNA strands


Helical capsids contain RNAcontaining granules Lymphocytic choriomeningitis

Single-stranded RNA, two RNA strands, produce DNA


Lentivirus (HIV) Oncogenic viruses

Use reverse transcriptase to produce DNA from viral genome Includes all RNA tumor viruses

Double-stranded RNA, nonenveloped

Reovirus (Respiratory Enteric Orphan) Rotavirus

Mild respiratory infections and gastroenteritis

Colorado tick fever




Viruses that infect bacteria Obligate intracellular pathogens They may be: Icosahedron: almost spherical shape with 20 facets Filamentous: long tubes formed into helical structure Complex: icosahedral heads attached to helical tails.

Acellular Infectious Agents:Viruses

Acellular Infectious Agents:Viruses

Virulent bacteriophages

 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Cause the lytic cycle, which ends in the destruction of the bacterial cell. The lytic cycle has 5 steps: Attachment (adsorption) Penetration Biosynthesis Assembly Release

Multiplication of Bacteriophages (Lytic Cycle)

Attachment Penetration

Biosynthesis Maturation Release


Phage attaches by tail fibers to host cell Phage lysozyme opens cell wall, tail sheath contracts to force tail core and DNA into cell Production of phage DNA and proteins Assembly of phage particles Phage lysozyme breaks cell wall

Temperate Bacteriophages

Or lysogenic phages, do not immediately initiate the lytic cycle, but rather, the DNA remains integrated into the bacterial cell chromosome, generation after generation.

Animal Viruses

Viruses that infect humans and animals Some maybe DNA viruses, while others may be RNA viruses May be enveloped or may contain enzymes that play a role in viral multiplication of animal viruses.

Multiplication of Animal viruses


Attachment Penetration Uncoating Biosynthesis Maturation Release

Viruses attaches to cell membrane By endocytosis or fusion By viral or host enzymes Production of nucleic acid and proteins Nucleic acid and capsid proteins assemble By budding (enveloped viruses) or rupture

Multiplication of Animal viruses

Release of an enveloped virus by budding

Inclusion bodies

Are remnants or collections of viruses Often seen in infected cells Used as diagnostic tool to identify certain viral diseases Cytoplasmic inclusion bodies: rabies, AIDS, and Guarnieri bodies of smallpox Intranuclear inclusion bodies: herpes and poliomyelitis

Latent Viral Infections

Virus remains in asymptomatic host cell for long periods

Cold sores, shingles

Persistent Viral Infections

Disease processes occurs over a long period, generally fatal

Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (measles virus)


Activated oncogenes transform normal cells into cancerous cells. Transformed cells have increased growth, loss of contact inhibition, tumor specific transplant and T antigens. The genetic material of oncogenic viruses becomes integrated into the host cell's DNA.

Oncogenic viruses

Oncogenic DNA Viruses


Oncogenic RNA viruses

Adenoviridae Heresviridae Poxviridae Papovaviridae Hepadnaviridae


Viral RNA is transcribed to DNA which can integrate into host DNA


Plant Viruses

Plant viruses enter through wounds or via insects Viroids are infectious RNA molecules capable of causing certain plant diseases; potato spindle tuber disease


Some Plant viruses



Infectious proteins that cause fatal neurologic diseases in animals. Inherited and transmissible by ingestion, transplant, & surgical instruments Spongiform encephalopathies: Sheep scrapie, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Gerstmann-StrusslerScheinker syndrome, fatal familial insomnia, mad cow disease PrPC, normal cellular prion protein, on cell surface PrPSc, scrapie protein, accumulate in brain cells forming plaques

The Domain Bacteria

1. 2. 3.

Cell Morphology Staining Reactions Colony morphology Atmospheric requirements Nutritional requirements 6. Biochemical and metabolic activities 7. Specific enzymes that the organism produces 8. Pathogenecity 9. Genetic composition



1. Cell Morphology
  1. 2.


Size: 0.2um to 10um Shape: Cocci round or spherical bacteria Bacilli rectangular or rod-shaped bacteria Spirilla curved and spiral-shaped bacteria


Cocci may be:


Bacilli may be:

Diplococci (in pairs) 2. Streptococci (chains) 3. Staphylococci (clusters) 4. Tetrads (packets of four) 5. Octads (packets of eight Ex. Enterococcus, Neisseria, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus.

Single 2. Diplobacilli 3. Steptobacilli 4. Coccobacilli Ex. Haemophilus 5. Pallisade arrangement Ex. Corynebacterium diptheriae

Examples of medically important bacilli are:


Enterobacter Shigella Escherichia Psuedomonas Klebsiella Bacillus Proteus Clostridium Salmonella

Pseudomonas and Clostridium

1. 2. 3.

Examples of curved and spiral-shaped bacteria: Vibrio cholerae Campylobacter Treponema


Cell-wall deficient (CWD) bacteria may lose their cell walls because of adverse growth conditions. Mycoplasma has no cell wall Pleomorphism is the ability to exist in a variety of shapes because of the absence of cell wall.

2. Staining Procedures

Smearing Fixing Staining Used to observe cell morphology Simple stain Differential stain Gram stain Acid-fast stain

3. Motility


The ability of the organism to move. Bacterial motility is associated with the presence of flagella or axial filaments Some exhibit motility on secreted slime on solid agar Most spiral-shaped bacteria and one half of the bacilli are motile Cocci are generally non-motile Motility can be demonstrated by stabbing organisms into a tube or by the hanging drop technique.

4. Colony Morphology

Includes the size, color, overall shape, elevation, and consistency of the colony The features of the colony serve as important clues in the identification of bacteria Size of the colony is determined by the organisms rate of growth, and it is an important characteristic of a bacteial species Bacterial colony is a mound or pile of bacteria on an agar surface. It contains millions of organisms.

5. Atmospheric Requirements
It is useful to classify bacteria on the basis of their relationship to oxygen and carbon dioxide  Bacterial isolate can be classified into one of five major groups: 1.) Obligate aerobes require an atmosphere that contains molecular oxygen in concentrations comparable to that in a room air (20 -21 % oxygen). Ex. Mycobacteria and certain fungi

2.) Microaerophilic aerobes require lower concentration (15% oxygen) than that found in room air for multiplication. Ex. Neisseria gonorrhea, Campylobacter species 3.) Obligate anaerobes is an anaerobe that only grows in anaerobic environment. It will not grow in microaerophilic environment, CO2 incubator, or in air. 4.)Aerotolerant anaerobe does not reqiure O2, grows better in the absence of O2, but can survive in atmosphere contg. Molecular oxygen such as air or a CO2 incubator.

5.) Facultative anaerobes capable of surviving in either the presence or absence of oxygen, anywhere from 0 to 20-21% oxygen. Ex. Enterobacteria, Streptococci, Staphylococci 6.) Capnophiles grow better in the presence of increased concentrations of CO2. Anaerobic capnophiles Capnophilic aerobes can grow in extinction jar but not in room air

6. Nutritional Requirements


All bacteria need some form of elements such as C,H, O2, S, P, and N for growth Special elements such as K, Ca, Mn, Mg, Co, Cu, Zn, U are needed by certain bacteria. Some have specific vitamin requirements. Others need organic subs. Secreted byother living microorganisms during their growth Fastidious organisms

7. Biochemical and Metabolic Activities

Bacteria produce waste products and secretions such as enzymes that enable them to invade their host and cause disease The pathogenic strains of many bacteria, such as staph, and strep can be tentatively identified by the enzymes they secrete Some bacteria are characterize by the production of certain gases such as CO2, H2S, O2, and CH4 Different types of culture media are used in the lab to learn about an organism s metabolic activity

8. Pathogenecity

Disease-producing abilities of pathogens Many pathogens are able to cause disease because they have capsules or endotoxins, or because they secrete exotoxins and exoenzymes that damage cells and tissues. It is tested by injecting the organism into mice or cell cultures.

9. Amino Acid Sequencing of Proteins

Comparing amino-acid sequencing of certain bacterial proteins determines the species and its relations to another bacteria

10. Genetic composition


DNA is unique to each species Determining the degree or relationship between two different bacteria can be done by identifying or hybridizing a sequence of bases in portions of DNA or RNA

Unique Bacteria
Rickettsias  very small parasitic bacteria that live and reproduce within eukaryotic host s cells  Coccoid, rod-shaped, or pleomorphic Gramnegative bacteria with a bacterial-type cell wall  Contain both DNA and RNa

Chlamydias  Most primitive of all bacteria because they lack enzymes required to perfoem many metabolic activities, particularly production of ATP  Transferred by direct contact between hosts


Smallest of the cellular microbes They assume many shapes, from coccoid to filamentous because they lack cell walls They are gram-negative and may be freeliving or parasitic and pathogenic to animals and some plants They are resistant to treatment with penicillin and other antibiotics

Photosynthetic bacteria


Purple bacteria and green bacteria do not produce oxygen but they use light as source of energy Cyanobacteria produce oxygen They may create a waterbloom , a pond scum which resembles thick layer of bluish-green oil paint. They are able to convert N2 from the air to ammonia in the soil. Some can produce toxins such as neurotoxins, hepatoxins, and cytotoxins.

Especially large and especially small bacteria

Largest: Thiomargarita namibensis and Epulopiscium fishelsonii Nanobacteria have been found in soil, minerals, ocean water, human and animal blood, human dental calculus, arterial plaque and even rocks of extraterrestial origin

Thiomargarita and Epulopiscium

Domain Archaea


Discovered in 1977 Archae means ancient There is a debate whether archae evolved first than eubacteria. Many are extremophiles Others are methanogens

END Of Chapter 4