FAQ

What are Bacteria?

Bacteria are single-cell microorganisms known as prokaryotes because they lack a nucleus housing their DNA.

 

What size is a typical bacterium cell?

Individual bacterium cells are usually a few microns (μm) in size. a micron is equal to one thousandth of a millimetre, 0.001 mm, or about 0.000039 inch. a 6 μm diameter carbon filament,
compared to 50 μm diameter human hair

 

What types of bacteria are there?

Scientists have only classified a few percent of the Earth’s bacteria. They divide them into two broad classes: Gram positive and Gram negative. Each bacteria react differently to a certain dye, reflecting a different absorptive property of the cell wall. This test was developed by the Danish bacteriologist Hans Gram. Bacteria come in different shapes of which the most common are spherical (cocci), rod-shaped (bacilli), spiral (spirilla) or comma-like (vibrios) forms.

What type of population is bacteria comprised of?

Ninety Nine percent of bacteria live in clusters or colonies. As an example, chains of spherical bacteria have the generic name streptococci, since they resemble beads on necklace.

What is the ideal environment for most bacteria to thrive in?

The majority of identified bacteria thrive in warm, moist environments.

How are tests for bacteria performed?

Test for the presence of bacteria require a bacterium to be cultured to increase its number by introducing the required favorable conditions and source of nutrition.

How does bacteria reproduce?

Bacteria reproduce by having one cell divide into two cells. Depending on the environmental conditions this may occur approximately every 20 minutes. Over the course of a six hour period one bacterium can become more than a quarter million individual cells.

How are bacterial infections treated in the United States?

The accepted Standard of Care in US medical practice is to treat bacterial infections with antibiotics. Antibiotics can fight bacterial infections in different ways. Which antibiotic is prescribed is dependent upon certain factors including which bacteria is causing the infection.

How do Antibiotics work?

Antibiotics kill bacteria in different ways. Penicillin kills bacteria by destroying sections of a bacterium’s cell wall. This disrupts the osmotic state of the cell. Water enters the cell until it bursts.
Some antibiotics, such as tetracycline, halt bacterial growth. This allows the patient’s own immune system to attack the disease.
Antibiotics such as streptomycin prevent the production of proteins required for a bacterium’s survival.

How does bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics?

Bacteria are very adaptable and new strains develop during the growth process of cell division. Some of these new cells may be resistant to specific antibiotics.

How is Thread fighting the battle against antibiotic resistant “super bugs”?

The present tools physicians have at their disposal to distinguish UTI’s from other diseases have certain clinical limitations. The primary limitation is the length of time to receive test results from a laboratory. Since good medical practice is to fight a suspected infection as quickly as possible antibiotics may be prescribed for a suspect case that is actually negative. When the physician receives the results and notifies the patient of the negative results many patients will stop taking the antibiotic prior to the completion of the entire prescription.

Even though the physician or someone from the office will instruct the patient to continue taking the entire prescribed amount many patients only hear they have a negative result. They think they no longer need to take any further medication. This is a prime scenario for bacteria to mutate and adapt as result of the uncompleted antibiotic course and eventually develop greater antibiotic resistance. Additionally, even in patients that do as instructed and continue to take the entire prescribed amount they are completing a course of medication they did not require.

Thread’s technology is addressing this issue. CultureStat provides a comprehensive testing platform incorporating multiple data sources providing fast, accurate results. This reduction in time to receive accurate results provides a path to minimizing antibiotic prescriptions prior to test results.

What is Bacteriuria?

Bacteriuria is the presence of bacteria in the urine.

What is the role of bacteriuria in relation to UTI’s

Urinary tract infections are caused by microbes such as bacteria overcoming the body’s defenses in the urinary tract. Urinary tract infections can have different names referring to the different parts of the urinary tract:
Bladder infection = Cystitis
Urethra infection = Urethritis
Kidney infection = Pyelonephritis.
The ureters are very rarely the site of infection.

What is a urinary tract infection?

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most commonly treated bacterial infections and account for over 10 million ambulatory care visits annually in the United States  [1]

Over 50% of all women will experience at least one UTI during their lifetime, with 20-30% experiencing recurrent UTI.

The vast majority of UTI cases are caused by the bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli), usually found in the digestive system. Chlamydia and Mycoplasma bacteria can infect the urethra but not the bladder.

With each UTI, the risk that a woman or man will have another UTI increases.

 

 

1.Schappert SM, Rechtsteiner EA: Ambulatory medical care utilization estimates. Vital Health Stat. 2011, 13: 1-38.

What are the four states of cell growth

The four stages of biological cell growth are Lag Phase, Log Phase, Stationary Phase and Death Phase

What is Log Phase vs Lag Phase, Stationary Phase and Death Phase?

During lag phase, bacteria adapt themselves to growth conditions. It is the period where the individual bacteria are maturing and not yet able to divide. During the lag phase of the bacterial growth cycle, synthesis of RNA, enzymes and other molecules occurs.

The log phase (sometimes called the exponential phase) is a period characterized by cell doubling. The number of new bacteria appearing per unit time is proportional to the present population. If growth is not limited, doubling will continue at a constant rate so both the number of cells and the rate of population increase doubles with each consecutive time period.

For this type of exponential growth, plotting the natural logarithm of cell number against time produces a straight line. The slope of this line is the specific growth rate of the organism, which is a measure of the number of divisions per cell per unit time. The actual rate of this growth depends upon the growth conditions, which affect the frequency of cell division events and the probability of both daughter cells surviving. Exponential growth cannot continue indefinitely, however, because the medium is soon depleted of nutrients and enriched with wastes.

The stationary phase is often due to a growth-limiting factor such as the depletion of an essential nutrient, and/or the formation of an inhibitory product. Stationary phase results from a situation in which growth rate and death rate are equal. The number of new cells created is limited by the growth factor and as a result the rate of cell growth matches the rate of cell death.

At death phase, bacteria die. This could be caused by lack of nutrients or other injurious conditions.

Why is CultureStat concerned with lag and log phase.

During log phase bacteria are feeding on their host. When bacteria are in lag phase they are waiting for an opportunity to transform into log phase.