Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of Escherichia coli is a Gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic, enteric, rod prokaryote. Note the pili and fimbriae on the surface. The original bacterial cell has just divided by binary fission. This bacterium was isolated from the human intestine and is normally a part of the human and animal microbiota. Most E. coli strains are harmless, but some strains can cause serious problems such as: food poisoning, urinary tract infections, traveller's diarrhoea and nosocomial infections. The E. coli 0157:H7 strain is fatal to humans if contracted when contaminated meat is cooked inadequately. Magnification: x4,455 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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