CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Clostridium perfringens. Coloured scanning electron micrograph of Clostridium perfringens bacteria, the cause of gas gangrene. These rod- shaped, Gram-positive bacilli are common in soil and can survive adverse conditions in the form of spores. Gas gangrene occurs when they infect wounds in parts of the body affected by poor blood supply (ischaemia). The bacteria multiply under the skin and produce powerful toxins that digest muscle and other tissues, producing gas as a by- product. Some strains can survive prolonged boiling and cause outbreaks of food poisoning spread by contaminated meat. Magnification x6,200 at 6x6cm x2500 at 35mm size.
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