Streptococcus pneumoniae, SEM

Streptococcus pneumoniae, SEM

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Credit: STEVE GSCHMEISSNER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Streptococcus pneumoniae. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria and two red blood cells. Streptococcus pneumoniae is a gram-positive coccus. Usually they are found in pairs of cocci, or diplococci, but they may also occur in short chains or singly. When cultured on blood agar they demonstrate alpha hemolysis (break down red blood cells). S. Pneumoniae is the main cause of community acquired pneumonia and meningitis in children and the elderly, and of septicemia in those infected with HIV. The organism also causes many types of pneumococcal infections other than pneumonia. These invasive pneumococcal diseases include bronchitis, rhinitis, acute sinusitis, otitis media, conjunctivitis, meningitis, sepsis, osteomyelitis, septic arthritis, endocarditis, peritonitis, pericarditis, cellulitis, and brain abscess. Magnification: x 5500 at 10cm.

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