Skin bacterium enclosed in a capsule

Skin bacterium enclosed in a capsule

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Credit: DR KARI LOUNATMAA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Bacterial capsule. Transmission electron micrograph (TEM) through an unidentified skin bacterium encased in a capsule (black). Inside the cell wall at the centre of the bacterium's grainy cytoplasm is a mesosome, an artificial structure (artefact) caused by the TEM fixation. The thick capsule or slime layer (glycocalyx) is a slimy or gummy material secreted by many bacteria onto their surfaces. It can help the bacterial cell to attach onto host cells it is infecting. It may also serve to protect the bacterium from immune cells such as phagocytes. Magnification: x125,000 at 8x10 inch size.

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Keywords: bacteria, bacterial, bacteriology, bacterium, capsule, electron micrograph, glycocalyx, gram-positive bacteria, mesosome, micro-organisms, microbe, microbes, microbiology, skin, slime layer, tem, transmission

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