Leeuwenhoek had stolen and peeped into the fantastic sub-visible world of little things, creatures that had lived, had bred, had battled, had died, completely hidden from and unknown to all men from the beginning of time. Beasts these were of a kind that ravaged and annihilated whole races of men ten million times larger than they were themselves. Beings these were, more terrible than fire-spitting dragons or hydra-headed monsters. They were silent assassins that murdered babies in warm cradles and kings in sheltered places. It was this invisible, insignificant, but implacable-and sometimes friendly- world Leeuwenhoek had looked into for the first time of all men of all countries. ~Microbe Hunters

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Neisseria spp.

I wanted to thank those who wished me luck for yesterday having 3 finals in 1 day. I survived. Barely. With 4 more coming up next week, it looks like I will be setting up camp in the library. I really like this challenge so it will be my break in between studying. (FaceBook has been inactivated...). This is definitely the 5th or 6th microbiology post in a row... I didn't mean for that to happen since there are 5 disciplines of Medical Laboratory Science and plenty of information. Anyways, this is "N"!
First of all, “spp.” means “species” in short. There are many different species in the genus Neisseria, but the most commonly known one is (another) STI called Neisseria gonorrheae, which causes gonorrhea.
Following chlamydia, gonorrhea is the second most prevalent STI found in Canada (and I guess America, too since we do trade everything). If you are suspected to have gonhorrea, you will also be tested for, and probably have, chlamydia, “the clap”, as well.  I don’t have any derogatory or slang names for gonorrhea, but it getting a bit redundant typing it over and over, so if you have one, please share.

Neisseria spp. are very fastidious organisms, meaning they are difficult to culture in the lab. They live only within a host and that host must be human. That means that humans have kept this infectious bacteria around themselves, just by passing it from person-to-person for x amount of years. Ew. In order to culture the bacteria in the lab, a special agar plate is needed to give it the nutrients it needs that it would otherwise have an abundance of in the body. That plate it grows on is called a chocolate agar plate.

Chocolate agar contains no chocolate. It contains no chocolate, so you should not try to eat it. In high school, my insane heart-surgeon-resident biology teacher ate one. It was actually chocolate jell-o she made in a petri dish, but it was psycho either way. Anyways, this plate actually contains lysed blood cells, or red blood cells that have been physically popped open to release their nutrient-filled insides to be mixed into the agar. Neisseria, being so picky, can then use these "chocolatelynutrients called X and V factors, to grow. I dont know about you, but next time I want chocolate I will announce it by my need for X and V factors.

Anyways, that’s fastidious Neisseria.


Darn good and sure of it,

adot

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