super bug

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super bug2016-12-26T03:34:08+00:00

super bug 

super bug image from New Medical Terms

super bug


Also written Superbug

A term of art for bacteria defined via Humpty-Dumpty etymology*.

*The redefinition of terms, words and phrase, which already have one or more widely accepted definition(s), according to the whims of the writer, arising from Humpty-Dumpty’s statement, in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean

(1) A popular term for a strain of bacteria that is resistant to multiple antibiotics to which other strains of the same species were susceptible in the past–e.g., methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, etc. 

Reference Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine 2013, 80:225-233

(2) An organism which, when ingested by macrophages, is either not digested, or is resistant to phagocytosis

Examples Mycobacterium leprae, Leishmania spp–reproduce in endocytotic vesicles, and Legionella spp–which inhibit intravesicular phagosomal acidification, turning off the system designed to destroy it


(3) A trivial name for an extremophile, an organism–usually a bacterium, that survives and thrives in extreme environments–e.g., highly acid or alkaline milieu, temperatures above boiling or below freezing, in deserts, etc.


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