Mediterranean (sometimes called " Malta ") fever has been traced by Colonel David Bruce to a Micrococcus melitensis.
By making very thin sections and employing high magnification (1000-1200 diameters), Renault has been enabled to detect numerous forms of bacilli in the woody parts preserved in coal, one of which, Micrococcus carbo, bears a strong resemblance to the living Cladothrix found in trees buried in peat bogs.
All these terms, including the usual one of bacteria, are unsatisfactory; for " bacterium," " bacillus " and " micrococcus " have narrow technical meanings, and the other terms are too vague to be scientific. The most satisfactory designation is that proposed by Nageli in 1857, namely " schizomycetes," and it is by this term that they are usually known among botanists; the less exact term, however, is also used and is retained in this article since the science is commonly known as " bacteriology."
He proceeded in the main on the assumption that the forms of bacteria as met with and described by him are practically constant, at any rate within limits which are not wide: observing that a minute spherical micrococcus or a rod-like bacillus regularly produced similar micrococci and bacilli respectively, he based his classification on what may be considered the constancy of forms which he called species and genera.
In 1862 Pasteur placed it beyond reasonable doubt that the ammoniacal fermentation of urea is due to the action of a minute Schizomycete; in 1864 this was confirmed by van Tieghem, and in 1874 by Cohn, who named the organism Micrococcus ureae.