Microbiology glossary, terms and definitions from W

Microbiology related glossary, terms and definition from W
Microbiology related glossary, terms, and definition from W. Created with BioRender.com

Microbiology terms and definitions from W

Wart definition

  • An epidermal tumor caused by papillomaviruses. (Foundation in Microbiology by Talaro and Chess)

Wastewater definition

  • The liquid derived from domestic sewage or industrial sources, which cannot be discarded in untreated form into lakes or streams. (Brock Biology of Microorganisms)

Wastewater treatment definition

  • The use of physical and biological processes to remove particulate and dissolved material from sewage and to control pathogens. (Prescott’s Microbiology)

Water activity (aw) definition

  • An expression of the relative availability of water in a substance. Pure water has an aw of 1.000. (Brock Biology of Microorganisms)
  • A quantitative measure of water availability in the habitat; the water activity of a solution is one-hundredth of its relative humidity. (Prescott’s Microbiology)

Water molds definition

  • A collective name for protists. Formerly thought to be fungi. (Prescott’s Microbiology)

West Nile fever definition

  • A neurological disease caused by the West Nile virus, a virus transmitted by mosquitoes from birds to humans. (Brock Biology of Microorganisms)

Western blot definition

  • The detection of specific proteins by separating them via electrophoresis, transferring them to a membrane, and adding specific antibodies. (Brock Biology of Microorganisms)
  • A procedure for separating and identifying antigen or antibody mixtures by two-dimensional electrophoresis in polyacrylamide gel, followed by immune labeling. (Foundation in Microbiology by Talaro and Chess)
  • A technique that uses antibodies to detect the presence of specific proteins separated by electrophoresis. (Microbiology: An Introduction by Tortora, Funke, and Case)

Wheal definition

  • An enlarged, hive-like zone of puffiness on the skin, often due to an allergic reaction. (Alcamo’s Fundamentals of Microbiology)
  • A welt; marked, slightly red, usually itchy bumps on the skin that change in size and shape as they spread. It is surrounded by a red patch (the flare). The reaction is triggered by cutaneous contact or intradermal injection of allergens in sensitive individuals. (Foundation in Microbiology by Talaro and Chess)

Whey definition

  • The residual fluid from milk coagulation that separates from the solidified curd. (Foundation in Microbiology by Talaro and Chess)
  • The fluid portion of milk that separates from curd. (Microbiology: An Introduction by Tortora, Funke, and Case)

White blood cell definition

  • Blood cells having innate or acquired immune functions. These cells are named for the white or buffy layer in which they are found when blood is centrifuged. (Prescott’s Microbiology)

White piedra definition

  • A fungus disease of hair, especially of the scalp, face, and genitals, caused by Trichosporon beigelii. The infection is associated with soft, mucilaginous, white-to-light-brown nodules that form within and on the hair shafts. (Foundation in Microbiology by Talaro and Chess)

Whitlow definition

  • A deep inflammation of the finger or toe, especially near the tip or around the nail. Whitlow is a painful herpes simplex virus infection that can last several weeks and is most common among health care personnel who come in contact with the virus in patients. (Foundation in Microbiology by Talaro and Chess)

Whole blood definition

  • A liquid connective tissue consisting of blood cells suspended in plasma. (Foundation in Microbiology by Talaro and Chess)

Whole-cell vaccine definition

  • A vaccine made from complete pathogens, which can be either killed microorganisms or live, attenuated microbes. (Prescott’s Microbiology)

Whole-genome shotgun sequencing definition

  • Genome sequencing in which random fragments of a complete genome are individually sequenced. The nucleotide sequences of the fragments are placed in the proper order based on overlapping identical sequences. (Prescott’s Microbiology)

Whooping cough definition

  • Infection by Bordetella pertussis. A highly communicable disease that causes the acute respiratory syndrome. Pertussis can be life-threatening in infants, but vaccination on the recommended schedule can prevent infection. (Foundation in Microbiology by Talaro and Chess)

Widal test definition

  • An agglutination test for diagnosing typhoid fever and determining the antibody titer. (Foundation in Microbiology by Talaro and Chess)

Wild type definition

  • The form of an organism or gene isolated from nature. (Alcamo’s Fundamentals of Microbiology)
  • A strain of microorganism isolated from nature or one used as a parent in a genetics investigation. The usual or native form of a gene or organism. (Brock Biology of Microorganisms)
  • The natural, nonmutated form of a genetic trait. (Foundation in Microbiology by Talaro and Chess)
  • A prevalent form of a gene or phenotype. (Prescott’s Microbiology)

Winogradsky column definition

  • A glass column packed with mud and overlaid with water to mimic an aquatic environment in which various bacteria develop over a period of months. (Brock Biology of Microorganisms)
  • A glass column with an anoxic lower zone and anoxic upper zone, which allows the growth of microorganisms under conditions similar to those found in a nutrient-rich lake. (Prescott’s Microbiology)

Wobble definition

  • In reference to protein synthesis, a less rigid form of base pairing allowed only in the codon-anticodon pairing. (Brock Biology of Microorganisms)
  • The loose base pairing between an anticodon and a codon at the third position of the codon. (Prescott’s Microbiology)

Wort definition

  • A sugary liquid produced from crushed malted grain and water to which is added yeast and hops for the brewing of beer. (Alcamo’s Fundamentals of Microbiology)
  • The clear fluid derived from a soaked mash that is fermented for beer. (Foundation in Microbiology by Talaro and Chess)
  • The filtrate of malted grains used as the substrate for the production of beer and ale by fermentation. (Prescott’s Microbiology)

References and Sources

  1. Alcamo’s Fundamentals of Microbiology
  2. Brock Biology of Microorganisms
  3. Foundation in Microbiology by Talaro and Chess
  4. Microbiology: An Introduction by Tortora, Funke, and Case
  5. Prescott’s Microbiology

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