Anthrax bacteria, light micrograph

Anthrax bacteria, light micrograph

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Credit: CDC/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Anthrax bacteria. Fluorescent light micrograph of Bacillus anthracis bacteria, the cause of anthrax. These are rod-shaped, Gram-positive, spore-forming bacteria. The bacteria have been stained with a fluorescent antibody that attaches to their cell wall. The bacteria can infect the skin (cutaneous anthrax), causing raised itchy lesions, the lungs (pulmonary anthrax), which is fatal unless treated quickly, and the digestive system (gastrointestinal anthrax), causing vomiting of blood and severe diarrhoea. All forms can be fatal if left untreated. Treatment is with antibiotics. Magnification: x1600 when printed at 10 centimetres tall.

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