Streptococcus pneumoniae. Light micrograph of clusters of Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria. At lower centre are the spherical cocci (pink), which are non-motile and Gram-positive. These bacteria are usually found in pairs, but do form short chains or clusters (as seen here). They secrete a capsule (blue) which is associated with virulence in pathogenic states. Streptococcus pneumoniae occurs both as a healthy commensal and a pathogen in the human respiratory tract. When pathogenic, it is a common cause of lobar pneumonia, broncho- pneumonia, pleurisy, peritonitis and meningitis. Magnification: x600 at 35mm size.
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