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False-colour scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Neisseria gonorrhoeae (the gonococcus) the species of bacteria causing sexually-transmitted disease gonorrhoea. Individual bacterium are Gram- negative, non-motile, kidney-shaped and typically occur in pairs, being flattened or concave on the side facing partner. Infection occurs through genital mucous membranes of either sex: symptoms include pain on passing urine, a discharge of pus from penis (men) & vagina (women - some women experience no initial symptoms). Untreated, the infection spreads & may cause sterility (women): severe inflammation of urethra (men) may prevent passage of urine. Magnification: X 5,800 (35mm).
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