Salmonella typhimurium bacteria. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Salmonella typhimurium bacteria. These gram-negative bacilli (rod-shaped) bacteria occur in animal hosts, including rats and mice, and are the commonest cause of food poisoning (salmonellosis) in humans. Infection occurs when these bacteria contaminate food such as meat, milk and eggs. They produce enterotoxins which act on the small intestine causing abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. The infection is treatable and is rarely fatal. Magnification unknown.
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