Animal Nutrition, and the start of Special Bacteriology (Day 159)

Gram Negative Bacteria - Pseudomonas aeruginosa gram stain under the microscope

Today’s Diary Entry is sponsored by Scampers Pet Shop

The end of week 1 of semester 2, this week has literally flown by and I am honestly not sure where my time has vanished too! Its been interesting as now instead of just looking at structures we are getting introduced into the things that cause diseases and how to treat them! Fundraising is starting to go well however I did struggle to fit everything I needed to do into this week.

Today I started a new topic in Animal Nutrition which will be spread over two semesters, and the next stage of microbiology – special bacteriology – which looks at specific disease causing bacteria each week. Now Animal Nutrition is basically looking at how food is used by an animal for energy to fuel the body processes and to promote health (physiologically it is split across structural, energetic and reserve functions). Within cats for example excessive vitamin A intake during pregnancy can cause the kittens to be born missing the palatine bone (cleft palate) which means they cannot form a vacuum and so cannot feed from their mom.

The introduction basically looked at the different components of food which looks something like this.

  • FOOD
    • Water
    • Dry Matter
      • Organic
        • Carbohydrates
        • Lipids
        • Proteins
        • Nucleic acids
        • Vitamins
      • Inorganic
        • Minerals

Obviously you can see from this that most of the nutritional value of food comes from the dry matter, this is why it is such a problem when supermarkets etc add extra water to their food products to increase the weight and charge more. Enough of that for today though.

Starting special bacteriology today there are a few words that I am always going remember that went something like this…

This semester you will be looking at different pathogenic bacteria in the laboratory, we only have a level 2 lab on the university campus so some of the bacteria you will read about only as it is too dangerous for our lab. about 30 minutes later Nesseria meningitidis is especially nasty as one day you go to work, the next day you are dead.

To be honest I am kinda glad that I am not in a lab working with N. meningitidis, I don’t mind working with dangerous stuff when I need to, but playing with something so deadly just to see what it looks like is not logical to me. Anyways back to today’s bacteria and we looked at the pseudomonadaceae, burkholderiaceae, neisseriaceae and legionellaceae families of bacteria in the theory lecture. In the lab however we only looked at pseudomonadaceae which can be classed as either pathogenic or non-pathogenic depending on the ability to destroy body tissues.

Gram Negative Bacteria - Pseudomonas aeruginosa gram stain under the microscope
Gram stain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa under the microscope with red staining rods

There are loads of different species of Pseudomonas not all of which cause disease and several that are opportunistic and only cause disease when they are given a chance by other things (aka cuts/weak immune system/stress etc).