Illustration of antibiotic action on a bacteria

Illustration of antibiotic action on a bacteria

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Credit: JOHN BAVOSI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Antibiotic lysis of a bacterium. Illustration of an antibiotic drug acting on a bacterium, causing it to burst (lysis) and lose its DNA. The bacterial cell is coloured blue; the cell wall has lost its shape due to damage by the drug. Inside the cell is the nuclear envelope (thick purple structure). This has also ruptured due to drug action, causing the chromosome material (purple strands like spaghetti) containing DNA to burst from the cell. Uncoiling of the DNA prevents the bacterium from dividing before it dies. Antibiotic drugs are used to treat bacterial infections. Penicillin and cephalosporin antibiotics act in this way to destroy bacterial cells.

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Keywords: action, antibiotic, artwork, bacteria, bacterial, bacteriology, bacterium, lysis, micro-organisms, microbe, microbes, microbiology, of bacteria

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