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The Cytology and Microchemistry of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis

Georges Knaysi
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Vol. 45, No. 1 (Jul., 1929), pp. 13-33
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30084377
Page Count: 22
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The Cytology and Microchemistry of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis
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Abstract

The young cell of Mycobacterium tuberculosis consists of a membrane presenting thickened areas and granular appendages on its internal surface, which surrounds a very dense, deeply staining cytoplasm permeated by a vacuolar system and inclosing dense, round or oval hyperchromatic granules. The membrane and the granules seem to be made up of similar substances staining metachromatically with dilute old methylene blue solutions and taking up iodine and the fat dyes to a great extent. This substance is not removed by boiling in water for one hour, nor by 5% sodium hydroxide, 5% sulfuric acid, glacial acetic acid or chloroform, at the end of a week. In old cells, the membrane increases in thickness and undergoes, together with the granules, gradual degeneration. The cell divides by drawing back of the protoplasm and the formation of two closing membranes, without constriction of the mother cell at the zone of division. The granules may divide but they do not seem to be associated constantly with cell division. The present investigations do not substantiate the assumption of a wax or fat sheath around the cell of the tubercle bacillus, nor of a wax or fat granules inside of the cell.

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