Nocardia sp. Gram-positive, rod prokaryote, SEM

Nocardia sp. Gram-positive, rod prokaryote, SEM

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Credit: DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Nocardia sp., Gram-positive, aerobic, rod prokaryote (bacterium). Nocardia is a genus of Gram-positive, catalase-positive, aerobic, non-sporulating. rod-shaped bacteria. Some species are non-pathogenic; some species are pathogenic. Nocardia bacteria are found worldwide in rich organic soil. Nocardia asteroides is the species most frequently infecting humans (nocardiosis) and is a rare and often fatal lung infection which can be mistaken as tuberculosis. Most Nocardia infections are acquired by inhalation of the bacteria. Human infections are usually opportunistic infections in immunocompromised patients. Human nocardial disease is a slowly progressive pneumonia, whose common symptoms include cough, dyspnoea (shortness of breath), and fever. Magnification: x1,600 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.

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