Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: Actinobacteria
Order: Actinomycetales
Suborder: Corynebacterineae
Family: Mycobacteriaceae
Genus: Mycobacterium

Mycobacteria are aerobic, often microaerophilic, and generally nonmotile bacteria that are characteristically acid-alcohol fast. This is due to their distinctive hydrophobic cell wall, comprised of a thick layer of mycolic acid and outer lipids in addition to the normal peptidoglycan, which gives them considerable protection against acids, alkali, and certain antibiotics that attack bacterial cell walls. Mycobacteria are classified acid-fast and Gram-positive (because they lack an outer cell membrane), although they do not retain the crystal violet stain as typical Gram-positive bacteria do.

Mycobacteria′s exceptional hardiness and low nutritional demands are the principles of mycobacteria-isolation on such media as the Gruft-modified Loewenstein-Jensen medium. The supplemented antibiotics are intended to eliminate all Gram-negative and normal Gram-positive germs and spare only the more resistant Mycobacteria.

Appropriate staining methods include the procedures according to Ziel-Neelson or Kinyoun as well as the auramine fluorochrome method (more information about staining).

Most important species:
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (cause tuberculosis)
Mycobacterium leprae (cause leprosy)

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M0303 Middlebrook 7H10 Agar Base suitable for microbiology, NutriSelect® Plus
M0428 Middlebrook 7H11 Agar Base suitable for microbiology, NutriSelect® Plus
M0178 Middlebrook 7H9 Broth Base suitable for microbiology, NutriSelect® Plus
63237 TB-Medium Base according to Loewenstein-Jensen suitable for microbiology, NutriSelect® Plus