CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of a Clostridium tetani bacterial spore. The bacterium causes tetanus (lockjaw). Here, a thick walled endospore has developed with many membranes forming its coat (purple). This is a resting phase of the bacteria induced by adverse conditions, and the spore will germinate when conditions become favourable. C. tetani exists in soil and harmlessly in the intestine of man and domestic animals; it becomes pathogenic when introduced into a wound. The disease of tetanus, sometimes fatal, leads to painful muscle spasms and stiffness. Vaccination is effective. Magnification: x12,150 when printed at 10cm wide.
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