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Mycobacteria are Gram-positive rods with an unusual cell wall - they contain mycolic acids, waxy substances that make the bacteria highly resistant to degradation and attack. This cell wall also makes the bacteria acid-fast. Mycobacteria grow very slowly, but are known to cause several serious diseases, including tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) and leprosy (M. leprae). Within the host, they often reside within the immune system's white blood cells.
Bergey's Manual Volume 4: The high G+C Gram-positive Bacteria