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Cell Wall: Gram Negative Shape: Spirochete
Metabolism: Microaerophilic
  • Spirochetes are a class of bacteria which are characterized by their corckscrew-like shape and unique spiral motility. The architecture of the spirochete cell wall is similar to that of gram negative bacteria and contains a peptidoglycan layer sandwiched between lipid inner and outer membranes (See: Bacterial Cell Wall). However, due to their small size, Spirochetes cannot be visualized by traditional gram stains combined with light microscopy. Specialized "Darkfield Microscopy" or immunofluorescenct stains must be used instead.
  • Spirochetes are rather susceptible to antibiotics and do not display much resistance. Successful antibiotic treatment of any spirochete may precipitate a Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction.
Member Organisms