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Anthrax bacteria, light micrograph

Anthrax bacteria, light micrograph

B220/1385

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Credit

SCOTT CAMAZINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCOTT CAMAZINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Anthrax bacteria. Coloured light micrograph (LM) of spores of the bacteria Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax. Anthrax commonly infects livestock and is transmitted to humans by contact with infected animal hair, hides or excrement. There are three main forms of the disease. Cutaneous (skin) anthrax causes a raised, itchy lesion at the site of entry of the bacteria. It may be fatal if left untreated. Gastrointestinal anthrax is more serious, causing vomiting of blood and severe diarrhoea. Pulmonary (lung) anthrax, known as woolsorter's disease, is caused by inhaling the bacteria and is fatal in most cases unless treated soon after exposure.

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