WHAT IS BODY FLUID (MYCOBACTERIA) TEST?
Mycobacteria are nonmotile, non–spore-forming, straight, or slightly curved rods that resist staining by Gram’s method or by acid solutions because of their high-lipid-containing cell walls. They grow slowly, with colonies developing after 2 days to 8 weeks of incubation. Some species are found in soil and water. Others are obligate parasites. The most common mycobacteria causing human disease are Mycobacterium asiaticum, M. avium-scrofulaceum complex, M. fortuitum, M. haemophilum, M. kansasii, M. leprae, M. malmoense, M. marinum, M. simiae, M. szulgai, M. tuberculosis complex, M. ulcerans, and M. xenopi. These organisms may attack any organ, but the primary site of infection is usually the lungs. The tubercle bacillus is the most common Mycobacterium infection in the United States, except in clients with AIDS. The bacilli are usually inhaled and are small enough to be carried into the alveoli without being expelled.