Mycobacterium is called Acid fast bacteria (AFB)

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Classification of Mycobacterium:

[A] Species always considered pathogens in humans:

  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis: Causes tuberculosis in humans.
  • Mycobacterium bovis: Causes tuberculosis in humans and cattle, spreads to many by cow’s milk.
  • Mycobacterium leprae: Causes leprosy in humans.

[B] Atypical Mycobacteria: Opportunist pathogens in humans. Classification in to four groups:

  • Photochromogens
  • Scotochromogens
  • Nonchromogens
  • Rapid growers.

[C] Saprophytic Mycobacterium: Not associated with human disease. E.g. M. Smegmatis, M.Phlei.

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