"So, naturalists observe, a flea has smaller fleas that on him prey; and these have smaller still to bite ’em; and so proceed ad infinitum."
- Jonathan Swift

December 5, 2010

December 5 - Haemophilus influenzae

Did you get a flu shot this year? Good. But, it's not going to protect you against this pathogen, Haemophilus influenzae. This gamma proteobacterium, a member of the Pasteurellaceae, was mistakenly thought to be the agent responsible for influenza until the 1930's when the actual culprit, viruses, were found. That said, these bacteria can still cause a whole slew of illnesses such as lower respiratory tract infections, pneumonia, ear infections, and meningitis. H. influenzae also holds another important distinction - it was the first bacterium to have its entire genome sequenced - this was published in 1995.

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