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Syphilis bacteria

Syphilis bacteria

B220/0738

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Credit

CHRIS BJORNBERG / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRIS BJORNBERG / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Treponema pallidum. Illustration based on a Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM) of T. pallidum, the bac- teria that causes syphilis. T. pallidum is a long thin, spiral-shaped bacteria, classed as gram- negative. The white line running along its length is a whip-like organ called a flagellum, which allows the bacteria to move. In this species the flagellum is enclosed within the cell's outer en- velope, and is called a periplasmic flagellum. Although once common, the sexually transmitted disease syphilis has declined thanks to the use of penicillin. Magnification unknown.

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