Haemophilus influenzae.Illustration of Haemophilus influenzae bacteria. These are Gram-negative, rod- shaped cells often forming clumps or, as seen here, chains. The bacteria have a cell wall surrounding their cell contents (green) within which is the nuclear material (purple). Some H. influenzae bacteria are harmless colonizers of the upper respiratory tract. However, the strain shown here is pathogenic. The capsule (thick, pink) is a gel-like structure thought to protect the cell against phagocytosis by immune system cells. Capsulated strains such as this are the most common cause of bacterial meningitis and epiglottitis in children.
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