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False-colour transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of Clostridium perfringens (formerly C. welchii). Here, cytoplasm and the cell wall are clearly seen. This Gram-positive, spore-forming soil bacterium causes blood poisoning, types of food poisoning and gas gangrene in humans. Exo- toxins which it secretes (alpha-toxin) can digest muscle and other tissues, infecting wounds with gas gangrene. The intestine of domestic animals often contains C. perfringens, and exotoxin conta- mination of raw meat causes food poisoning. Human blood poisoning occurs when the bacterium enters the blood. Magnification: x5, 700 at 6x7cm size.
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