Cholera bacterium. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a Vibrio cholerae bacterium. This Gram-negative rod-shaped bacterium has a single polar flagellum (long, hair-like structures), which it uses to propel itself through water. V. cholerae is the cause of cholera, an infection of the small intestine that is transmitted to humans via contaminated food or water. The bacteria produces a toxin that causes diarrhoea and severe dehydration, which may be fatal if left untreated.
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