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Mycobacteria are a bacterial genus. Mycobacteria are acid-alcohol fast bacteria (AAFB), because they can only be visualised by special acid-alcohol Ziehl-Neelsen staining.

Ziehl-Neelsen showing the positive (magenta) rod-shaped mycobacteria in a lymph node.

Not all of them are pathogenic; some are pathogenic in the immune compromised. They include the causes of:

Other mycobacteria that can occasionally infect humans include:

Mycobacteria characteristically grow slowly, especially M. tuberculosis.

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