Japanese bacteria names

Today, I learned that the venerable E. Coli has a kanji word associated with it: 大腸菌. Do you know of other bacteria that have kanji names? Share them here!


連鎖球菌 - streptococcus

(ball-chain bacteria, brilliant :laughing:)


E-Coli is brilliant, too: Large intestine bacteria

In my native language, we don’t have native names for bacteria, just transliterations. As such, learning that Japanese has native words for bacterial species was an interesting surprise for me :slight_smile:

Are these words commonly used? Or are カタカナ loanwords favored instead?
EDIT: Apparently, https://jisho.org lists 大腸菌 as a common words, so…

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メチシリン耐性黄色ブドウ球菌 – MRSA

“methicillin-resistant yellow grape ball bacteria” :joy_cat:

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Well, the name staphyloccocus has Greek origins, and it means “grape coccus”. So, the name is not far from the truth… But MRSA is no laughing matter!

Some bacteria do have katakana names, though. For example:
Bacillus thuringiensis → バチルス・チューリンゲンシス (According to Japanese wikipedia)
Agrobacterium tumefaciens → アグロバクテリウム‐ツメファシエンス (According to ejje)


肺炎桿菌 - Klebsiella pneumoniae (“pneumonia bacillus”)
赤痢菌属 - Shigella (“dysentery bacteria”)
緑膿菌 - Pseudomonas aeruginosa (“green pus bacteria”)
化膿レンサ球菌 - Streptococcus pyogenes (“pyogenic bacteria in chains”)


Actually, I learned that 球菌 is used to represent coccus bacteria. It can even be used standalone to mean “coccus”

レンサ mean “chains” and 球菌 “coccus”, you are right :slight_smile:

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