MadSci Network: General Biology

Re: what makes pneumonia a type of bacteria??

Date: Fri Feb 9 12:33:15 2001
Posted By: Steven Korenstein, Grad student, Environmental/Occupational Health, Cal. State Un. Northridge
Area of science: General Biology
ID: 981415951.Gb


All bacteria share severl important traits.  All bacteria lack a nucleus, 
that centralized, membrane bound structure in which all other organisms 
contain their DNA.  In fact bacteria do not have any membrane bound 
structures in them, structures that make other organisms more complex. 

The disease called pneumonia is caused by a bacteria known as the 
pneumococcal.  And usually refers to a variety of infections caused
by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae.  Other organisms can also cause 
pneumonia, however, the pneumococcus is the most important cause of
serious pneumonia.

Some bacteria have certain charactoristics that make them especially 
dangerous to our health.  Bacteria like the pneumococcal have a stickey 
outer coating called a capsule.  The capsule  helps the pneumococcus to 
infect humans by allowing the it to stick to cells lining the
respiratory tract (for example, the nose, throat, and tubes leading
to the lungs). The capsule also helps the pneumococcus avoid
being eaten by white blood cells.

Hope this hepls.  Good Luck

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