Red blood cell destruction. Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of red blood cells (red) being lysed (destroyed) by Streptolycin O (yellow), an exotoxin (excreted poison) produced by the Gram-positive bacterium Streptococcus pyogenes. S. pyogenes is a beta-haemolytic variant of streptococcus, meaning that it breaks down red blood cells and eliminates haemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying component of these cells. Magnification: x83000 when printed 10 centimetres wide.
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