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Haemophilus influenzae bacteria, light micrograph. These are Gram-negative rod-shaped (bacillus) non-motile bacteria. There are 2 types of strains, encapsulated and unencapsulated. The encapsulated strains are more virulent, as their capsule allows them to escape the cells of the body's immune system, and are named A to F. Strain B is the most likely to cause infection. H. influenzae is often found in the respiratory tract of healthy individuals causing no disease. However, in the very young or those with a weakened immune system, it can cause a number of diseases, including meningitis, cellulitis and bacterial pneumonia, which can be fatal. Magnification: x500 when printed 10 centimetres wide.
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