One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any spherical or roughly spherical bacterium.
- ‘A gram-positive coccus was isolated from the bone marrow of a 5-year-old patient with leukemia.’
- ‘Pathologic examination of the specimen revealed an organizing abscess with numerous bacterial cocci.’
- ‘Penicillin kills most gram negative cocci that cause gonorrhea and epidemic spinal meningitis.’
- ‘Major and limb-threatening infections may involve aerobic gram positive cocci, gram negative bacilli, anaerobes, and enterococci.’
- ‘The elongation phase of growth distinguishes bacilli from cocci, which grow and divide by pure septation.’
Mid 18th century (denoting a scale insect): modern Latin, from Greek kokkos ‘berry’. Compare with cochineal.
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