capsule 1. Bact. Thick gel-like material attached to the wall of Gram-positive or Gram-negative bacteria, giving colonies a 'smooth' appearance. May contribute to pathogenicity by inhibiting phagocytosis. Mostly composed of very hydrophilic acidic polysaccharide, but considerable diversity exists. 2. Path. Cellular response in invertebrate animals to a foreign body too large to be phagocytosed. A multicellular aggregate of haemocytes or coelomocytes isolates the foreign object. In some insects the capsule is apparently acellular and composed of melanin. 3. Anat. Dense connective tissue sheath surrounding an organ.
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