my·​co·​bac·​te·​ri·​um | \ ˌmī-kō-bak-ˈtir-ē-əm How to pronounce mycobacterium (audio) \

Definition of mycobacterium

: any of a genus (Mycobacterium) of nonmotile aerobic acid-fast bacteria that include numerous saprophytes and the pathogens causing tuberculosis and leprosy

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Other Words from mycobacterium

mycobacterial \ ˌmī-​kō-​bak-​ˈtir-​ē-​əl How to pronounce mycobacterial (audio) \ adjective

Examples of mycobacterium in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Tuberculosis is a disease of the lungs caused by a mycobacterium. Joseph Osmundson, The New Republic, "Covid-19 and the Limits of American Moral Reasoning," 30 July 2020 The vaccine is named after its inventors, Dr. Albert Calmette and Dr. Camille Guerin, who developed it in the early 1900s from mycobacterium bovis, a form of tuberculosis that infects cattle. Roni Caryn Rabin, New York Times, "Can an Old Vaccine Stop the New Coronavirus?," 3 Apr. 2020 Davies says the clay has also demonstrated the ability to combat mycobacterium ulcerans, a debilitating skin infection. Smithsonian, "Soil From a Northern Ireland Graveyard May Lead Scientists to a Powerful New Antibiotic," 19 Dec. 2019 In 2017, Zhu graduated with a Ph.D. and a fascination with the basic biology of the mycobacterium that is the causative agent of TB. Jeffrey Mervis, Science | AAAS, "When Europeans do science in China," 11 Sep. 2019 In many American homes, water is treated with chlorine and chloramine, which kill pathogens but not mycobacteria, a genus that includes the cause of tuberculosis. Lisa Margonelli, WSJ, "‘Never Home Alone’ Review: The Critters Chez Nous," 28 Nov. 2018 Mice exposed to a species of mycobacteria are more likely to remain calm when facing a bigger, more aggressive mouse. Lisa Margonelli, WSJ, "‘Never Home Alone’ Review: The Critters Chez Nous," 28 Nov. 2018 The hospital pointed to a piece of operating room equipment as the source of the infection, which was caused by a bacteria known as mycobacterium abscessus. Chelsea Brasted,, "At least 12 patients contract rare infection after Children's Hospital heart surgeries: report," 11 Sep. 2017 It was closed again Dec. 16 after testing found another strain of mycobacterium. Courtney Perkes, Orange County Register, "Anaheim dental clinic where children contracted serious infections to reopen Monday," 18 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mycobacterium.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of mycobacterium

1909, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mycobacterium

New Latin

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Time Traveler for mycobacterium

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The first known use of mycobacterium was in 1909

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Cite this Entry

“Mycobacterium.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for mycobacterium


my·​co·​bac·​te·​ri·​um | \ -ˈtir-ē-əm How to pronounce mycobacterium (audio) \

Medical Definition of mycobacterium

1 capitalized : a genus of nonmotile acid-fast aerobic bacteria of the family Mycobacteriaceae that are usually slender and difficult to stain and that include the causative agents of tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) and leprosy (M. leprae) as well as numerous purely saprophytic forms
2 plural mycobacteria\ -​ē-​ə How to pronounce mycobacteria (audio) \ : any bacterium of the genus Mycobacterium or a closely related genus

Other Words from mycobacterium

mycobacterial \ -​ē-​əl How to pronounce mycobacterial (audio) \ adjective

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