E. coli bacteria, SEM

E. coli bacteria, SEM

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Credit: STEVE GSCHMEISSNER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: E. coli bacteria. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Escherichia coli bacteria, a cause of food-borne illness. Certain strains of these Gram-negative enterobacteria (intestinal bacteria) can cause bloody diarrhoea and kidney failure, particularly in the elderly and the very young. The pathogenic strains are found in the intestines of some cattle, and can spread to humans in contaminated beef and milk. Transmission can be prevented by thoroughly cooking meat and pasteurising milk. Magnification unknown.

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