Funny Name of Microorganisms: Don’t try to find answer from these names

This post was most recently updated on October 4th, 2016

Naming of microorganisms is a very challenging game. Some of the name of microorganisms are given  in honour of those persons who have discovered this organism. In some cases the name of particular organism is dervied from the place of its discovery, and in other cases the name reflects some of the salient feature of the organisms such as Staphylococci (grape like cluster: morphology), Mycobacteria: (containing Mycolic acid: salient feature).
But today I am talking about those popular names of microorganisms, inferences taken based only on those names results funny answer! I have found students getting confused and writing unrelated properties of these organisms. After seeing the name, they just guess the properties, which may not be correct.
Here are the some:
  1. Chicken Pox: The question asked was, “write properties of Chicken Pox“. I got the answer: It is a pox virus and it infects chicken.
    But: Chicken pox does not infect chicken, nor is it caused by a pox virus. A herpes virus is its cause.
  2. Histoplasma Capsulatum: When asked about Histoplasma in a viva, a student replied: It’s a protozoa and it is capsulated.
    But:  As its first name suggest, it is not a protozoa,  It’s a fungus. As its second name suggest, it is not a capsulated organism, it does not bear any capsule.
About tankeshwar 387 Articles
Hello, thank you for visiting my blog. I am Tankeshwar Acharya. Blogging is my passion, I am working as an Asst. Professor and Microbiologist at Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Patan Academy of Health Sciences, Nepal. If you want me to write about any posts that you found confusing/difficult, please mention in the comments below.

2 Comments

  1. hello sir how are you i hope fine and enjoying life as a microbiologist sir m facing a problem for a few days thats about whether to choose microbiology as an mphil subject or histopathology or hematology i am intrested in micro but some profesionals asked me not join it but histo so i just want to have an advice from you what should i do

    • Dear Zia
      Based on the information you have provided here, it’s difficult to suggest best options for you. Please check, Pros and Cons of each along with your passion. I hope, you will be able to take best decision for yourself.

Do you have any queries? Please leave me in the comments section below. I will be happy to read your comments and reply.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.