Mycobacterium avium, bacterium, SEM

Mycobacterium avium, bacterium, SEM

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Credit: DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Mycobacterium avium, rod prokaryote (dividing); zoonotic microorganism, causes avian tuberculosis and MAC (Mycobacterium avium complex) in humans. Secondary infection to AIDS. MAC, also called Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare complex, is a microbial complex of 2 Mycobacterium species, Mycobacterium avium and Mycobacterium intracellulare. It causes Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare infection (MAI). MAC can cause fevers, diarrhoea, malabsorption, as well as loss of appetite and weight loss, and can disseminate to the bone marrow. Treatment for MAI is typically resistant to standard mycobacterial therapies. It is typically treated with a series of three antibiotics for a period of at least six months. Mycobacterium avium and M. intracellulare are saprotrophic organisms present in soil and water. Magnification: x3,000 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.

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