Last updated on June 11th, 2021
I strongly believe that Microbiology is the most interesting subject, blended with many interesting funny small creatures which are invisible to the naked eyes of humans. The world of these tiny organisms is very big, dynamic, most interesting, and sometimes invincible.
The colony they formed in the culture media may remind you of the beautiful scenery you have visited. If you start to know these organisms, you will just fall in love with these tiny creatures and will have an enduring passion to know the world of these organisms.
Microbiology is an interesting subject also because our founding fathers and mother are the cool people ever born on earth. Whatever nasty the microbial specimen: they gave them very cool terms. When they saw voluminous diarrhea produced during Vibrio cholerae infection, they termed it as “rice watery stool”.
We, microbiologists, are the lovers of foods since ancient times. Before the use of the Microbiology term, people used to enjoy sipping wines (som ras: the product of microbial fermentation). As time went on, different branches of Microbiology evolved.
In this blog post, I am writing some interesting food terminologies which are used to describe microbial pathogens/ specimens.
Certain species of Clostridium that bears terminal spore appear as drumstick shaped under the microscope. Clostridium tetani, a gram-positive obligate anaerobe which is the causative agent of tetanus, bear spores which are spherical, terminal and twice the diameter of vegetative cells. This gives a drumstick appearance while viewing under a microscope.
Neisseria gonorrhoeae (the causative agent of gonorrhea) and Neisseria meningitides (agent of meningitis) look like coffee bean-shaped (two coffee bean kissing each other/ or some says like a kidney) in gram stained smear. They are gram-negative intracellular diplococci.
The gametocytes of P. falciparum are crescent-shaped (“banana-shaped”), whereas those of the other plasmodia are spherical. The trophozoites (tachyzoites) of Toxoplasma gondii also has crescent shape.
Grape like clusters
S. aureus is a gram positive cocci which appears as grape like clusters.
The ovum of Trichuris trichiura is barrel-shaped (“lemon shaped”) with a mucus plug at each end. It is a nematode that causes diarrhea, if the infection is heavy, Trichuris may also cause rectal prolapse in children.
The trophozoite of Giardia lamblia is “pear-shaped” with two nuclei, four pairs of flagella and a suction disk.
Spaghetti and meat ball-like appearance
Tinea versicolor is a relatively common skin infection that causes your skin to have patches of light-colored skin, due to damage of melanocytes in your skin. Malassezia furfur, a funny-sounding fungus that can be diagnosed by its “spaghetti-and-meatball” appearance on a KOH preparation.
Rice watery stool
Voluminous diarrhea produced during Vibrio cholerae infection.