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Learning objectives

  • Illustrate and briefly describe minimum, optimum, and maximum temperature requirements for growth
  • Identify and describe different categories of microbes with temperature requirements for growth: psychrophile, psychrotrophs, mesophile, thermophile, hyperthermophile
  • Give examples of microorganisms in each category of temperature tolerance

When the exploration of Lake Whillans started in Antarctica, researchers did not expect to find much life. Constant subzero temperatures and lack of obvious sources of nutrients did not seem to be conditions that would support a thriving ecosystem. To their surprise, the samples retrieved from the lake showed abundant microbial life. In a different but equally harsh setting, bacteria grow at the bottom of the ocean in sea vents ( [link] ), where temperatures can reach 340 °C (700 °F).

Microbes can be roughly classified according to the range of temperature at which they can grow. The growth rates are the highest at the optimum growth temperature for the organism. The lowest temperature at which the organism can survive and replicate is its minimum growth temperature . The highest temperature at which growth can occur is its maximum growth temperature . The following ranges of permissive growth temperatures are approximate only and can vary according to other environmental factors.

Organisms categorized as mesophile s (“middle loving”) are adapted to moderate temperatures, with optimal growth temperatures ranging from room temperature (about 20 °C) to about 45 °C. As would be expected from the core temperature of the human body, 37 °C (98.6 °F), normal human microbiota and pathogens (e.g., E. coli , Salmonella spp., and Lactobacillus spp.) are mesophiles.

Organisms called psychrotrophs , also known as psychrotolerant, prefer cooler environments, from a high temperature of 25 °C to refrigeration temperature about 4 °C. They are found in many natural environments in temperate climates. They are also responsible for the spoilage of refrigerated food.

Resolution

The presence of Listeria in Jeni’s blood suggests that her symptoms are due to listeriosis , an infection caused by L. monocytogenes . Listeriosis is a serious infection with a 20% mortality rate and is a particular risk to Jeni’s fetus. A sample from the amniotic fluid cultured for the presence of Listeria gave negative results. Because the absence of organisms does not rule out the possibility of infection, a molecular test based on the nucleic acid amplification of the 16S ribosomal RNA of Listeria was performed to confirm that no bacteria crossed the placenta. Fortunately, the results from the molecular test were also negative.

Jeni was admitted to the hospital for treatment and recovery. She received a high dose of two antibiotics intravenously for 2 weeks. The preferred drugs for the treatment of listeriosis are ampicillin or penicillin G with an aminoglycoside antibiotic. Resistance to common antibiotics is still rare in Listeria and antibiotic treatment is usually successful. She was released to home care after a week and fully recovered from her infection.

L. monocytogenes is a gram-positive short rod found in soil, water, and food. It is classified as a psychrophile and is halotolerant. Its ability to multiply at refrigeration temperatures (4–10 °C) and its tolerance for high concentrations of salt (up to 10% sodium chloride [NaCl]) make it a frequent source of food poisoning. Because Listeria can infect animals, it often contaminates food such as meat, fish, or dairy products. Contamination of commercial foods can often be traced to persistent biofilms that form on manufacturing equipment that is not sufficiently cleaned.

Listeria infection is relatively common among pregnant women because the elevated levels of progesterone downregulate the immune system, making them more vulnerable to infection. The pathogen can cross the placenta and infect the fetus, often resulting in miscarriage, stillbirth, or fatal neonatal infection. Pregnant women are thus advised to avoid consumption of soft cheeses, refrigerated cold cuts, smoked seafood, and unpasteurized dairy products. Because Listeria bacteria can easily be confused with diphtheroids, another common group of gram-positive rods, it is important to alert the laboratory when listeriosis is suspected.

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Questions & Answers

what is the size of virus
Beatrice Reply
What is the difference between TVC and Bioburden test
Mohamed
?
Mohamed
structure of bacteria and 10 types
Jennifer Reply
what is accidental host?
Domingo Reply
what is endomembrane system
Ikpi Reply
what is human anatomy
Ikpi
okay. Go ahead and ask
Blessing Reply
Industrial microbiology mcq
mohamed
Okay. What's your question?
Blessing
life arises from living matter or live organism.
Swami Reply
yes
sildra
I think live matter arises from non living matter
sildra
I dont think so...can u explain with an example
Manya
living maters made by non living matters
sildra
non living matters like stones? rocks?
Manya
eno
sildra
no
sildra
then?
Manya
cells are made by C N O minerals etc
sildra
I mentioned these as non living maters
sildra
that's all
sildra
cells are made up of those things but they originate from living things..
Manya
ok
sildra
Ok..good chat:-)
Manya
where are you from
sildra
thanks
sildra
India...u?
Manya
Tamil nadu
sildra
I am from Maharashtra
Manya
what about your studies
sildra
completed bsc.. preparing for msc entrance...wbu?
Manya
same
sildra
are you microbiologist
sildra
yes i am
Manya
good
sildra
what s the scope for micro in ur state?
Manya
did you find your college to higher studies
sildra
have to give an entrance exam for every college here...so lets c
Manya
food industries, medical lab, vaccine industries ,etc
sildra
hoping for pune University...wbu?
Manya
great!
Manya
is that centeral University right
sildra
what is your namr
sildra
hello
Udhaya
Hi
Maruf
Family kindly help me with this question? 1) Shortlist the configurative measurements of the following human anatomical ranges of÷ - Blood ( haemeglobin) in both male and female - Haematocytes in both male and female - Hepatocytes in both male and female - Lymphocyte / T. Lymphocytes in both male
Gifted
My names are Gift Mwale and am a Zambian. Kindly help me with this research which goes like this... 1) Shortlist the configurative measurements of the following human anatomical ranges of ÷ - Blood ( haemeglobin) in both male and female - Hepatocytes in both male and female - Haematocytes in both
Gifted
please what is the full meaning for TCDS
UDEME
from a single cell
Freedom
tcds means transcranial direct current stimulation...in this small electric currents are given to brain( specific parts) to help increase brain performance or to help with depression.. current should be in range 0.5-2.0mA
Manya
what's underlying disease relating unsanitary diet microorganism with the highest rate of epidemology solution and efficacy leading molecules elucidated structural solutions
feven
please can anybody talk about brain tumour and its cure.
BELLO Reply
enlargement of the thyroid gland resulting in over production of hormone.
Kamal Reply
What can u say on Thyroid Cancer?
Abdulkareem
Please, talk about the thyroid cancer.
BELLO
explain the Grave's disease
John Reply
what is cell
Avi Reply
is unit of life
Kamaluddeen
Ok
mohamed
who is an industrial microbiologist
Cynthia Reply
I want to know the biochemical composition of bacteria
Josh Reply
It contains peptidoglcon, DNA nd RNA
Asiya
what are Carrier protein
Ikpi
bacteriophage disadvantage
Momina Reply
disease due to __________ abnormalities are termed primary immunodeficiencies
Tayee Reply
Some primary immunodeficiencies are due to a defect of a single cellular or humoral component of the immune system.
Prince
Examples of primary immunodeficiencies include: chronic granulomatous disease, X-linked agammaglobulinemia, selective IgA deficiency etc
Prince
thank you
Nana
explain microbial mutation
Emerald
what is mutation
Cynthia Reply
alteration in genetic makeup
UDEME

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Source:  OpenStax, Microbiology. OpenStax CNX. Nov 01, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12087/1.4
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