DAVID SCHARF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID SCHARF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Clostridium perfringens bacteria. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Clostridium perfringens bacteria. These rod-shaped Gram- positive bacteria are commonly found in the human intestines and in soil. C. perfringens can infect wounds that have a reduced blood supply (ischaemic tissue), causing gas gangrene (clostridial myositis). The bacteria produces a toxin that digests muscle and subcutaneous tissue, forming gas. Clostridial cellulitis is a similar, but less serious infection, as muscle is not destroyed. C. perfringens can contaminate foods such as meat, causing septicaemia (blood poisoning) and food poisoning. Magnification: x5,600 at 6x7cm size.
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