Bacteriophage attacking E. coli

Bacteriophage attacking E. coli

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Credit: GUNILLA ELAM/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Bacteriophage attack. Computer illustration showing bacteriophage virus particles (virions, purple) attacking an Escherichia coli bacterial cell. Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria. They have tail fibres (leg-like), which fix them to a specific receptor site on the bacterium. They then inject their genetic material into the host, which makes the bacterial cell manufacture more copies of the virus. When mature, these clones burst out, destroying the host cell in the process.

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