Antibody: A protein synthesized by the
immune system in response to an antigen.
Antigen: A large foreign molecule,
such as a bacterial cell or a toxin, that can provoke an immune response.
Bacteremia: The presence of bacteria
in the bloodstream.
Ciprofloxacin: An antibacterial agent
of the fluoroquinolone group.
Cytokines: Small proteins released from
human cells as a response to bacterial infection. They send signals that
affect interactions between cells in the immune response, and induce the
proliferaton of T-cells responsible for cellular immunity. Undesirable
effects of cytokine activity include fever, pain, and inflammation.
Cytosol: The fluid portion of the
cytoplasm, which is the part of the cell outside the nucleus.
Doxycycline: An antibacterial agent of
the family of 6-deoxy-tetracyclines.
Edema: An abnormal accumulation of
Edema factor (EF): The portion of the
anthrax toxin which produces edema when combined with protective antigen.
Endospore: A resting structure formed
inside some bacteria that is resistant to unfavorable environmental
Eschar: A necrotic mass of tissue.
Exotoxins: Poisons produced by
bacteria that leave the cell and enter the area around the cell.
Germinate: To grow from a spore.
Gram-positive: Bacteria that keep the
color of the primary stain when stained with the Gram stain. All
Gram-positive bacteria have similar cell walls, a feature that helps to
dictate which antibiotics they are susceptible to.
Immobilized: The state of a chemical
protein or substance that is bound, without substantial change in its
structure, to an insoluble solid, thus rendered insoluble in the
Immunoaffinity: A column chromatography
method using antibody-antigen reactions to purify or detect substances.
Lethal factor (LF): A virulence factor
of anthrax toxin which, when combined with protective antigen, results in
death of the host.
Lyses: Destruction of cells by
breakdown of the cell walls.
Macrophages: Large phagocytes (ameboid
cells that engulf foreign material) of the reticuloendothelial system.
Microbiologist: A person who studies
microorganisms, including protozoa, fungi, bacteria and viruses.
Mitogen-activated protein kinase
kinases: A mitogen is a compound that stimulates cells to undergo
mitosis. A protein kinase is an enzyme that exerts regulatory efffects on
growth by phosphorylating a protein.
Pathogen: A disease-producing organism.
Phage typing: A method of identifying
bacteria using specific strains of Bacteriophages (viruses that attack
Phagocytosis: The act of engulfing
large, solid objects such as bacteria by cells, and delivery of these
objects to digestive vacuoles in specialized cells such as macrophages and
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR): A
technique for copying and amplifying the complementary strands of a target
deoxyribonucleic acid molecule.
Protective antigen (PA): A component of
the anthrax toxin that combines with lethal factor and edema factor to
mediate their entry into the cell.
Refractile: Deflecting light from a
Septicemia: Multiplication of the
bacteria in the bloodstream, producing a powerful toxin.
Sporangium: A thick case containing one
or more asexual spores.
Sporicides: Chemicals that kill
Systemic: An infection throughout the
Toxemia: A condition in which the blood
contains toxic substances either of microbial origin or as by-products of
abnormal protein metabolism.
Translocates: Moves water, mineral
salts and organic substances from one part of a bacterial cell to another.
Vegetative form: Having nutritive or
growth functions, as opposed to reproductive functions.
Zoonosis: A disease occurring primarily
in wild and domestic animals that can be transmitted to humans.