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General Information on Bacteria

Quick Guide to Bacterial Organisms

A bacterium is an organism which works on the body in both complementary and destructive ways. The plural of the word is “bacteria.” You will hear mostly about twtypes relative tthe way they use oxygen, “aerobic” and “anaerobic” (with and without oxygen). When samples are collected, you will hear about “acid-fast” types distinguished by their resistance tdye colorization, “gram-positive” and “negative,” and their “rod” shapes. Cultures (growing the bacteria colonies in Petri dishes in the lab) are done after swabbing the area, or collecting in other ways from infectious site(s).

You will find a family of bacteria listed alphabetically in most dictionaries, and alsa listing of all bacteria. The most commonly heard are listed below (they are traditionally capitalized). If used other than a noun, “streptococcal,” for example, they are not capitalized. The plural form, (not often heard or typed) ends with “-aceae.” For instance, Enterobacter would be spelled Enterobacteriaceae, (en-tir-oh-back-ter-eesh-ee-uh) but you will type it as “Enterobacter.” Examples of such spellings are below with an “*” syou will be familiar with the concept (but hardly ever use it).

  • Pseudomonas (sue-doe-moan-us)
  • Campylobacter (cam-pill-oh-back-ter)
  • Legionella
  • Enterobacter (*Enterobacteriaceae)
  • Escherichia (often heard with coli and abbreviated as E. coli) (ess-sir-eech-ee-uh)
  • Salmonella
  • Shigella
  • Klebsiella
  • Serratia (sir-ay-shee-uh)
  • Proteus
  • Hemophilus (heem-off-ill-us)
  • Actinobacillus (ack-tin-oh-back-sill-us)
  • Streptobacillus
  • Bacteriodes (*Bacteriodaceae)(back-tir-ee-oyd-ees)
  • Leptotrichia (lep-toe-trike-ee-uh)
  • Neisseria (*Neisseriaceae) (nye-seer-ee-uh)
  • Micrococcus (*Micrococcaceae (micro-cock-say-she-uh)
  • Staphylococcus
  • Streptococcus
  • Bacillus
  • Clostridium (claw-strid-ee-um)
  • Lactobacillus
  • Listeria
  • Actinomyces (ack-tin-oh-mice-ees)
  • Mycobacterium
  • Streptomyces
  • Rickettsia (Rickettsiaceae)(rick-ett-see-uh) or Rickettsiales
  • Rickettsiella
  • Coxiella (cock-see-ella)
  • Chlamydia (kluh-mid-ee-uh)
  • Mycoplasma

DISCLAIMER: The information provided here is for general informational purposes only, and is provided as a supplement for students enrolled in Meditec’s medical career training courses. The information should NOT be used for actual diagnostic or treatment purposes or in lieu of diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician.