Mycobacterium tuberculosis, bacterium, SEM

Mycobacterium tuberculosis, bacterium, SEM

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Credit: DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a primary causative agent of human tuberculosis (TB). M. tuberculosis is highly aerobic and requires high levels of oxygen. Primarily a pathogen of the mammalian respiratory system, it primarily infects the human lungs. However TB bacteria can attack any part of the human body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. TB is spread through the air from one person to another. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal. Each year, ten million new TB cases and two million deaths are estimated to occur. Once thought to be of animal origin, Mycobacterium tuberculosis emerged as a human pathogen in Africa to spread throughout the world through migrations of modern humans. Magnification: x3,000 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.

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