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Microbiology Vocab

Microbiology Unit Vocabulary Words

TermDefinition
Nosocomial an infection acquired in hospital
Endemic infection that is reoccurring in a specific location or population
Epidemic a disease that spreads from person to person in a new area
Pandemic widespread disease transmitted person to person affecting a whole country, possible worldwide
Pathogenic P/T produced by disease
Zoonotic infection or disease spread from vertebrae animals to humans
Epizootic out break of disease in animal population
Virulent highly infectious
Aerobic requiring oxygen
Anaerobic growing in the absence of oxygen (does not require oxygen)
Bacillus a rod-shaped bacterium
Coccus a spherical bacterium
Spiral bacteria motile bacteria having a helical or spiral shape (with stiff cell walls)
Spirochetes motile helical or spiral bacteria (thin, flexible cell walls)
Fission reproductive process in which the parent cell divides into identical independent cell
Bacterial conjugation transfer of genetic material through direct cell to cell contact
Progeny offspring or descendent
Colony a defined mass of bacteria assumed to have grown from a single organism
Communicable disease able to be transmitted directly or indirectly from one individual to another
Immunocompromised having reduced ability to or inability to produce normal immune response
Agar a seaweed derivative used to solidify microbiological media
Nematode any unsegmented worm (roundworm)
Ova egg
Parasite an organism that lives in or on another species at the expense of the species
Virion the infectious form of a virus
Mycoplasma the smallest free-living group of bacteria (lack of cell wall and anaerobic)
Antiseptic a chemical used on living tissues to control the growth of infectious agents
Disinfectant a chemical used on inanimate objects to kill or inactivate microbes
Sterilization the act of eliminating all the living microorganisms from an article or area
Vaccine prevention method where a biological complex is used to improve immunity
Coliform certain gram negative intestinal bacteria including e-coli
Occult concealed or hidden
Ectoparasite parasite on the outside of the skin
Congenital acquired during fetal development and present at time of birth but not inherited
Medium a substance used to provide nutrients for growing microorganisms
Culture growth of microorganisms in a lab
Primary media non selective, contains all elements needed for growth of bacteria
Indicator media used to distinguish one microorganism type from another growing on the same media
Selective media used for the growth of only selected microorganisms
Transport media used as temporary storage, prevents microbial multiplication
Nutrient Agar used for the routine cultivation of non-fastidious bacteria
Blood agar useful for cultivating fastidious organisms and for determining the hemolytic capabilities of an organism (used in strep tests)
SSA agar differentiates Salmonella and Shigella colonies from other Enterobacteriaceae. obtained from stool samples
Chocolate agar heat-treated blood (which turns brown) grows fastidious (particular) respiratory bacteria
Thayer-Martin Chocolate agar Mueller Hinton agar with 5% chocolate sheep blood and antibiotics used for isolating pathogenic Neisseria bacteria (inhibits the growth of most other microorganisms )
Eosin Methylene Blue agar bacteria change color if they ferment lactose (indicates lactose fermentation)
Thioglycollate broth used for strict anaerobes
MacConkey agar bacteria change color if they ferment lactose (indicates lactose fermentation)
Normal flora microorganisms that are normally present at a specific site
Opportunistic pathogen microorganism that causes disease in the host only when the host's immune system cannot fight it
Pathogen an organism capable of causing disease in a host
Infection condition caused by the growth of microorganisms
Host organism from which a parasite obtains nutrients and where most of their life cycle is
Mycosis infection caused by fungi
Yeast a type of unicellular fungus that is aerobic and reproduces by budding
Molds a type of fungus that is aerobic and reproduces using spores
Hyphae filaments of a mold that make up mycelium
Mycelium mass of hyphae that make up a vegetative body of molds
Plasmodium protozoan genus that include the organisms causing human malaria
Trichomonas vaginalis parasitic protozoan that causes a sexually transmitted infection
Helminthes group comprising roundworms and flatworms
Pinworm a small parasitic nematode
Standard precautions precautions against infection by assuming that all body fluids and substances, organs, and unfixed tissues are infectious
Airborne precautions precautions taken to stop the spread of disease by the airborne route
Contact precautions precautions taken to stop the spread of disease by close or direct contact
Droplet precautions precautions taken to stop the spread of disease by air within three feet
Carrier one who harbors an organism, has no signs of disease, but can spread the organism
Fomites substances or surfaces capable of carrying infectious organisms
Isolation limiting movement and interaction of an infectious person
Protective isolation limiting movement and interaction of a susceptible person
Nonpathogenic not causing disease
Autotrophs organisms that produce their own food
Heterotrophs organisms that cannot produce their own food
Photosynthetic capable of creating food using light
Chemosynthetic capable of creating food using inorganic chemicals
Saprobes organisms that feed on dead organic matter
Fastidious bacteria bacteria that has a complex nutritional requirement
Eubacteria true bacteria (most bacteria are eubacteria)
Archaebacteria unicellular bacteria (extremophiles)
Methanogens microorganisms that produce methane as a metabolic byproduct
Halophiles microorganisms that love salt
Thermophiles microorganisms that love heat
Cyanobacteria photosynthetic bacteria that are cyan colored
Avian influenza bird flu (virus)
West Nile virus transmitted by mosquitoes, causes flu-like symptoms, encephalitis, or meningitis
Ebola virus highly infectious, causes hemorrhagic fever
Dengue hemorrhagic fever tropical disease that results in bleeding, low levels of platelets, and plasma leakage (virus)
Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria that causes tuberculosis (TB)
Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) mad cow disease (prion)
Inoculation process of transferring a population of microorganisms to a growth medium
Mordant a substance that fixes a dye or stain to an object
Counter stain a dye that adds a contrasting color
Endospore dormant, tough, and non-reproductive structure produced by certain bacillus bacteria
Catalase test the presence of catalase enzyme is detected using hydrogen peroxide
Fecal occult test detects subtle blood loss in the gastrointestinal tract, may indicate peptic ulcers or cancer
Immunoassay a diagnostic method using antigen-antibody reactions
Zone of Inhibition the area around an antibiotic disk that contains no bacterial growth (antibiotic susceptibility test)
Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) minimum concentration of an antibiotic required to inhibit the growth of a microorganism
Created by: PayneLabTech