Microbestiary Photo Contest First Place
About this microbe:
The bacterium depicted is Bifidobacterium adolescentis, a gram-positive rod, that appears purple under the microscope. This bacterium will not grow in the presence of oxygen and is thus an “anaerobe”. It colonizes in the intestinal tracts of humans and animals directly after birth and is one of the many bacterial members that comprises the gut microbiome. Therefore, it is not a harmful bacterium to living organisms and will not cause infection but will in-fact prevent the growth and infection of harmful pathogens like E. coli. This bacterium is classified as a “probiotic”, meaning “pro-life”, and is added to foods such as yogurt, kombucha, and in fermented milk that is available for consumer purchase. Not only does this improve the shelf life of the food product, but also improves the health of your gastrointestinal tract! Recently, it has been used for its therapeutic abilities to treat, specifically, infantile diarrhea by being given orally, in capsule form, to the infant in a large dose. Additionally, its role in preventing colon cancer, by inhibiting tumor growth, is being heavily researched with promising results. Therefore, this bacterium has proven to play a beneficial role in our gut health and in treating certain infections and diseases.
Image: Chayse Rowley