English: This image, which was photographed in 2005 using a blue filter, depicted a close-up perspective of Mycobacterium cosmeticum bacterial colonies of strain LTA-388T, growing on Middlebrook 7H10 agar, which is used primarily in the isolation of mycobacteria, as well as for the antimicrobial susceptibility testing of these organisms. What's in a Name? When Dr. Robert Cooksey set out to name the new mycobacterial organism recovered from cosmetic patients and sites, he consulted several Latin dictionaries. He found the word "Oesypum" meant cosmetic, but other interpretations of the word described the term as "sheep sweat" (from which lanolin is derived), which he felt was not an appropriate word. Upon consulting IJSEM, the official journal that recognizes new species, he was advised to Latinize the English word "Cosmetic" - hence the organism was named M. cosmeticum. Dr. Cooksey, a 30 year microbiologist working with his research team in the CDC’s TB lab, discovered the M. cosmeticum bacterium, which can thrive in salons, healthcare and clinic settings. This species is the newest identifiable mycobacterial organism to thrive in these settings, joining other rapid growing species, Mycobacterium fortuitum, M. chelonae, and M. abscessus, that have been found in previous outbreaks. “We find these organisms are very persistent in the environment and can survive unusually harsh environmental conditions - for example, in biofilms", says Cooksey. "The antibiotic therapy can go on for many months or even years. It very often requires an incision to remove the abscess. The person winds up getting disfigured, so the end result is the opposite of what the patient went in originally for - a more attractive body."