Habitat and Morphology of Mycobacterium leprae

Habitat of Mycobacterium leprae

  1. They are found in soil, water and air.
  2. Found in the soils where the leprosy infected people live.
  3. Most of them are non-pathogenic and non-parasitic.
  4. Found in warm tropical countries.
  5. Mycobacterium leprae are found in the peripheral nerves of humans.
  6. Found in the cold parts of the body like hand, feet and nose.
  7. They are aerobic intracellular organisms.
  8. They are also found in the Armadillos.
  9. They grow on temperature 30 to 33°C and pH 5.1 to 5.6.
  10. They can survive in humid environment for 9-16 days, 46 days in moist soil, 2 hours in sunlight and for about 30 minutes in UV light.
  11. Its generation time is from ten to thirty days (Average: 14 days).
  12. It was first detected in 1873 by a Norwegian physician named Gerhard Hansen.
Armadillo, the only other organism besides human capable of contracting the disease.

Morphology of Mycobacterium leprae

  1. They are acid fast organism and also can be considered as gram +ve bacteria.
  2. Its cells contain peptidoglycan and stain gram-positive, but most of its cell wall is comprised of unique types of lipids.
  3. Due to thick waxy coating, they stains with carbol fuchsin.
  4. They are also known as “Hansen’s Bacillus Spirilly”.
  5. They have “Packets of Cigarettes” appearance.
  6. They have parallel sides with rounded ends.
  7. They are 1-8 µm in length and 0.2-0.5 µm in diameter.
  8. They are non-sporing, non-capsulated and non-motile bacteria.
  9. They divided by binary fission.
  10. They appears in group of bacilli side by side.
  11. They are slender, slightly curved or straight rods.
  12. They appears in clumps and rounded masses.

Morphology of Mycobacterium leprae

Genomes of Mycobacterium leprae

  1. They are 3,268,203 base pairs.
  2. 2770 genes.
  3. GC Content: 57.8%.
  4. Codes for 1605 proteins
  5. Contains 1115 pseudogenes.
  6. Genomes was sequenced in 10/02/2001 by Sanger Institute.

Habitat and Morphology of Mycobacterium leprae

About Author

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Sagar Aryal

Sagar Aryal is a microbiologist and a scientific blogger. He is currently doing his Ph.D. from the Central Department of Microbiology, Tribhuvan University in collaboration with Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), Saarbrucken, Germany. He did his M.Sc. in Microbiology and B.Sc. in Microbiology from St. Xavier’s College, Kathmandu, Nepal. He worked as a Lecturer at St. Xavier’s College, Maitighar, Kathmandu, Nepal, from March 2017 to June 2019. He is interested in research on actinobacteria, myxobacteria, and natural products. He has published more than 15 research articles and book chapters in international journals and well-renowned publishers.

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