Q Fever! Medical Humor & Satire

June 27, 2001 | Volume 2, Issue 6

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S. bovis Leaves Gram Positive Cocci

Joins gram-negative rods, shifting balance of power in colon

ATLANTA, GA - Streptococcus bovis has defected from the gram-positive cocci bacterial grouping to join the gram-negative rods, shifting the balance of power in the colonic biosphere for the first time since 1994. Prior to the announcement, bovis had been a gram-positive coccus for more than 2.78 billion years.

S. bovis

The Group D Strep species made its announcement Tuesday morning from a hotel room in Orlando, FL, site of the 2001 American Society of Microbiology General Meeting. "I will leave the gram-positive group and will become a gram-negative," said bovis, prompting cheers from a small group of supporters.

"I've been struggling with the issue for some time now," said bovis in widely publicized media reports. "Slowly but surely, the gram-positive agenda's become less and less applicable to the realities of living in the large intestine."

"Besides, I never had much in common with predominantly skin commensals like Staph anyway."

Bovis added, however, that, out of respect for its old classification group, it will delay until next week the addition of a lipopolysaccharide-containing outer membrane, a distinguishing characteristic of gram-negative organisms.

The remaining gram-positive caucus, which has been left wincing by bovis' defection, has reportedly contacted Moraxella (Branhamella) catarrhalis in an attempt to win the gram-negative coccus over to its side.

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