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Bordetella pertussis bacterium

Bordetella pertussis bacterium

B220/0224

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Credit

CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

False colour transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of a thin section of the whooping cough bacteria, Bordetella pertussis. The whooping cough bacteria parasitise only humans. They cause a respiratory tract infection characterised by fits of coughing that end in loud inspiratory whoops. The infection is usually contracted in childhood and is potentially fatal in infancy. Adults are sometimes affected. The infection damages the epithelium lining the trachea and bronchi, impairing the beat of the cilia that keep the airways clean. Antibiotics are of very limited effect in treatment. Magnification: X 8800 at 35mm size.

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