Under a magnification of 3841X, this scanning electron micrograph SEM) revealed some of the ultrastructural morphologic details exhibited by a number of Gram-positive bacilli, or “rod-shaped”, Mycobacterium fortuitum bacteria.
M. fortuitum is classified as a “rapidly-growing” Mycobacterium, due to the fact that it can be grown on laboratory culture medium in less than 7 days. As a human pathogen, this organism has been determined to be the cause of skin infections, including furunculosis, i.e., boils, on the legs of people receiving pedicures in nail salons.
With drinking water as their source, in a 72 hour period, these organisms created a biofilm upon a submerged polycarbonate surface, from which they were subsequently harvested.
As a nontuberculous bacterium (NTB), M. fortuitum is a member of the same genus as its cousin Mycobacterium tuberculosis, however, it is classified outside the M. tuberculosis complex.
Credit: CDC/ Margaret M. Williams; Janice Haney Carr