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Salmonella typhimurium. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a Salmonella typhimurium bacterium. This gram-negative bacillus (rod- shaped) bacterium moves by using its long, hair- like flagella (yellow). S. typhimurium occurs in animal hosts, including rats and mice, and is the commonest cause of food poisoning (salmonellosis) in humans. Infection occurs when this bacterium contaminates food such as meat, milk and eggs. It produces enterotoxins which act on the small intestine, causing abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. The infection is treatable and is rarely fatal. Magnification x18,000 at 6x6cm size.
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