Query: NC_016789:1295918 Corynebacterium diphtheriae PW8 chromosome, complete genome Lineage: Corynebacterium diphtheriae; Corynebacterium; Corynebacteriaceae; Actinomycetales; Actinobacteria; Bacteria General Information: They may be found as members of the normal microflora of humans, where these bacteria find a suitable niche in virtually every anatomic site. This organism is the best known and most widely studied species of the genus. It is the causal agent of the disease diphtheria, a deadly infectious disease spreading from person to person by respiratory droplets from the throat through coughing and sneezing. In the course of infection, the bacteria invade and colonize tissues of the upper respiratory tract, proliferate and produce exotoxin that inhibits protein synthesis and causes local lesions and systemic degenerative changes in the heart, muscles, peripheral nerves, liver and other vital organs.
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General Information: This strain has been derived from the original human-lung H37 isolate in 1934, and has been used extensively worldwide in biomedical research. Like other closely related Actinomycetales, such as Nocardia and Corynebacterium, mycobacteria have unusually high genomic DNA GC content and are capable of producing mycolic acids as major components of their cell wall. This bacterium is the causative agent of tuberculosis - a chronic infectious disease with a growing incidence worldwide. It infects 1.7 billion people a year (~33% of the entire world population) and causes over 3 million deaths/year. This bacterium does not form a polysaccharide capsule, and is an extremely slow growing obligate aerobe. This bacterium does not form a polysaccharide capsule, and is an extremely slow growing obligate aerobe. This bacterium does not form a polysaccharide capsule, and is an extremely slow growing obligate aerobe. The sluggish growth rate is a result of the tough cell wall that resists the passage of nutrients into the cell and inhibits waste products to be excreted out of the cell. The specialized cell envelope of this organism resembles a modified Gram positive cell wall. It also contains complex fatty acids, such as mycolic acids, that cause the waxy appearance and impermeability of the envelope. These acids are found bound to the cell envelope, but also form cord factors when linked with a carbohydrate component to form a cord-like structure. Primary infection occurs by inhalation of the organism in droplets that are aerosolized by an infected person. The organism initially replicates in cells of the terminal airways, after which it is taken up by, and replicates in, alveolar macrophages. Macrophages distribute the organism to other areas of the lungs and the regional lymph nodes. Once a cell-mediated hypersensitivity immune response develops, replication of the organism decreases and the bacteria become restricted to developing granulomas.