Anthrax in the Body, illustration

Anthrax in the Body, illustration

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Credit: Carol and Mike Werner/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Illustration depicting anthrax bacteria and endospores (small yellow spheres) in the blood stream (upper right) and lymphatic system. The bacteria Bacillus anthracis produces highly toxic endospores (spores) which can exist in the environment for years or even centuries. The spores may become airborne and inhaled by mammals, including humans. The spores become active and travel through the airways to the alveoli in the lungs where they are attacked by lymphocytes. Once inside the lymphocytes some are killed but many continue to reproduce eventually killing the lymphocyte. They go on to infect the nodes of the lymphatic system (lower centre) and the rest of the body, including the brain. If left untreated the infection can become fatal.

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Keywords: afferent lymphatic vessel, alveoli, anatomy, anthrax, b cell, bacillus anthracis, bacteria, biology, blood, circulatory system, disease, efferent lymphatic vessel, endospores, illustration, infection, lungs, lymph, lymph capillaries, lymph ducts, lymph node structure, lymph supply, lymph vessel structure, lymph vessels, lymphatic artery, lymphatic duct, lymphatic system, lymphatic vein, lymphocyte, macrophage, medical, medicine, nodule, science, spores, t cell, toxic, toxin, trabeculum, vessel, visualization

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