D. PHILLIPS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY D. PHILLIPS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Bacteria on the skin. Coloured Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM) of the human skin, showing colonies of bacteria growing on it. At centre is a skin pore, appearing as a depression on the surface. Around and inside the pore are numerous cocci (spherical) bacteria and bacilli (rod- shaped) bacteria. The surface of the skin protects against the invasion of infective agents, such as bacteria. Areas like the scalp, ear, armpits, genito-urinary and anal regions are moist enough to support resident microbial populations. Some bacteria are pathogenic, others play a construc- tive role. Most bacteria, however, are harmless to healthy skin. Magnification: x800 at 6x9cm size.
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