Mycobacterium bovis BCG

Bacteria, Aerosol-Transmitted

Structure and Physiology

This bacterium is a rod shaped, slow growing, aerobic bacterium. As this microbe is acid-fast, staining is done using the Ziehl-Neelson stain rather than gram staining. 

Transmission and Disease

Mycobacterium bovis BCG is the causative agent of tuberculosis in cattle and a close relative (>99.95% identical at the nucleotide level) of M. tuberculosis, which causes tuberculosis in humans. Because of this close relationship, M. bovis BCG is used as a surrogate in antimicrobial tests for tuberculosis disinfectant claims. 

Disinfection

Because of a thick cell wall, the bacterium can survive harsh environmental conditions and is difficult to kill.

Notes

The "BCG" in this organism's name stands for Bacillus Calmette–Guérin vaccine strain, developed from 1908-1921 by french bacteriologists Albert Calmette and Camille Guérin. It was created by growing M. bovis.  

Reference
  • Garnier, Thierry, et al. "The complete genome sequence of Mycobacterium bovis." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 100.13 (2003): 7877-7882.