As we know bacteria comes in various classes and are distinguished by their shapes, chemical configuration, source of energy either sunlight or chemicals, nutritional requisites and biochemical actions.
We have a patient that may be infected with an unknown bacterial infection; we’ve collected a sputum sample and will be testing for one of the following genera: Bacillus, Escherichia and Mycoplasma. In order to determine which one of the three may be the source of the infection we have to recognize the characteristics of each one and the staining protocol needed to identify them.
All three of the above mentioned genera are considered to be members of the Prokaryotic cell family which includes bacteria. They have certain identifiable features that distinguishes them from Eukaryotes such as: “Their DNA is not enclosed within a membrane” and “they usually divide by binary fusion, organelles are not encompassed within the membrane and the cell walls usually consist of complex polysaccharides peptidoglycan” (Tortora, 2013).
When researching the differences among the three genera’s each have specific characteristics that distinguishes one from another; Mycoplasma are the smallest members of the prokaryote family, due to their size they lack cell walls or have a scant amount of wall material, but they are known to thrive and reproduce outside the living host cells. The plasma membranes of this bacteria contain lipids (sterols) to protect them from lysis (Tortora, 2013).
Bacillus are rod shaped bacteria that are usually presented as singular (single bacilli); however when they divide into pairs they’re called Diplobacilli and when appearing as a chain it’s known as streptobacilli; there’s also bacillus that resemble cocci and are referred to as cocobacilli. Escherichia also known as E. coli is a rod shaped bacteria consisting of “flagellar protein” known as H- antigens to help differentiate the various
References: Tortora, Funke, Case: Microbiology an Introduction 2013 (11th edition).