Bacillus atrophaeus, bioindicator bacterium, SEM

Bacillus atrophaeus, bioindicator bacterium, SEM

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Credit: DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Bacillus atrophaeus. Gram-positive, aerobic, spore-forming, rod-shaped, bacterium. This bacterium is almost identical to Bacillus subtilis. Bacillus atrophaeus is pigmented when grown in organic nitrogen medium, thus it has been classified as a new species. Bacillus atrophaeus spores are used in the preparation of bioindicators to monitor the dry heat, ethylene oxide, and plasma sterilization processes and in tests to assess sterilizing products. The regular use of biological indicators to evaluate the efficiency of sterilization processes is a legal requirement for health services. Bacillus atrophaeus is also used as a Bacillus anthracis surrogate in the development and validation of biosafety methods. Magnification: x4,000 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.

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