False-colour SEM of fungus: Blastomyces dermatidis

False-colour SEM of fungus: Blastomyces dermatidis


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False-colour scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the fungus Blastomyces dermatidis, the causative agent of the infection blastomycosis. Here, a mass of fungal threads is seen, each thread known as a hypha, with fruiting bodies at the tips of some threads. The disease blastomycosis affects common- ly the skin and lungs. Positive sites of infection include soil and rotten timbers. Domestic animals, particularly dogs, can also be affected. Symptoms include fever, cough with sputum, and skin lesions on face and forearms. Chronic forms may spread to the liver and cause death. Effective treatment is with the drug amphotericin B given intravenously. Magnification: x275 at 6x7cm size.

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