Updated: 7/12/2017

Aerobes and Anaerobes

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Overview
  • Aerobes ("Nagging Pests Must Breathe")
    • Nocardia
    • Pseudomonas
    • Mycobacteria
      • explains TB's preference for the apices of the lung (highest PO2)
    • Bacillus
    • Bordatella
  • Anaerobes ("ABC")
    • Actinomyces
    • Bacteroides
    • Clostridium
    • Lactobacillus
  • Microaerophilic ("a bit of air for 'bacter")
    • Campylobacter
    • Helicobacter
    • Borrelia burgdorferi
  • Facultative anaerobes
    • most other bacteria!
Physiology
  • Aerobes
    • depend on O2 to generate ATP
  • Anaerobes
    • normal in GI tract but otherwise pathogenic
    • lack catalase and/or superoxide dismutase
      • more susceptible to oxidative damage
    • foul-smelling
      • due to short-chain fatty acids
    • hard to culture
    • produce gas in tissue
    • "aminO2glycosides" are ineffective against anaerobes
      • because these antibiotics require O2 to enter bacterial cell
  • Microaerophilic
    • requires oxygen, but requires low levels of oxygen
 

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