Dictionary » C » Capsule



noun, plural:

(general) A small case, envelope, or covering.

(1) A membranous sac or integument, especially surrounding partly or wholly a bodily structure or organ.
(2) Any of the two strata of white matter in the cerebrum.

(1) The sporangium of ferns, mosses, algae and fungi.
(2) A type of dehiscent fruit made up of two or more carpels (e.g. poppy).

(microbiology) The mucopolysaccharide layer that lies outside the cell wall of bacteria.

(pharmacology) A small soluble container enclosing a dose of an oral medicine or vitamin.

(pathology) An encapsulated material, especially one that results from a cellular or immune response to a foreign body.


In anatomy, a capsule refers to the membranous sheath that surrounds a bodily organ such as kidney, or the fibrous tissues that surrounds a joint.

In botany, a capsule is a dehiscent fruit which, at maturity, split apart (dehisce) to release the seeds within.

In microbiology, the capsule help protect bacteria from phagocytosis as well as from desiccation. It also helps them to adhere to surfaces and cells. Hence, it is considered a virulence factor. It is found most commonly among gram-negative bacteria, such as Escherichia coli.

Word origin: French, from Latin capsula, diminutive of capsa, box.
Related forms: capsular (adjective)

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identifying 2 unknown bacterias

I have a gram negative, rod positive capsule present negative amylase reaction acidic, curd formation, peptonization in the protease reaction positive catalase reaction negative H2S reaction negative motility positive indole reaction positive ...

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by jl930
Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:57 am
Forum: Microbiology
Topic: identifying 2 unknown bacterias
Replies: 1
Views: 3831

adherence to host cell-capsule hindrance

From what I understand about pathogenic microbiology, I think that the capsule will indeed act as a physical barrier. The host's complement system, which acts as a passive response against invading organisms, attracts phagocytes and is directly cytolytic on ...

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by PsycoCarrot
Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:48 pm
Forum: Microbiology
Topic: adherence to host cell-capsule hindrance
Replies: 1
Views: 4142

Unknown Organism

I need help identifying my unknown by Monday. Here are the results. 1. Gram Stain Positive (Clustered Bacilli) 2. Capsule Negative 3. Endospore Negative* 4. Phenol Red Broth Fermentation with Acid and Gas end products 5. Nitrate Reduction NO3 --> NO2 6. Urea Hydrolysis Does not ...

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by CheriPeace
Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:08 pm
Forum: Microbiology
Topic: Unknown Organism
Replies: 5
Views: 5972

Re: Stomach bloating and weight gain

... not eating properly. read up on it and you'll be surprised at what it say's, try it and like me you will be shocked. After taking the first capsule with my food I actually burped for the first time in years, my food was moving and not just getting stuck, after 1 a day for two days my stomach ...

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by gussytravis
Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:35 pm
Forum: Physiology
Topic: Stomach bloating and weight gain
Replies: 453
Views: 2910174

adherence to host cell-capsule hindrance

Question, and sorry if it sounds dumb! If a bacterium is covered by a capsule, and you have a possible adhesin embedded in the cell membrane, does the capsule not hinder the ability of the adhesin to adhere to the host cell?

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by biology_06er
Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:13 pm
Forum: Microbiology
Topic: adherence to host cell-capsule hindrance
Replies: 1
Views: 4142
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