MICHAEL ABBEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MICHAEL ABBEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
E. coli causing blood poisoning. Phase-contrast light micrograph of rod-shaped Escherichia coli bacteria in a human blood culture. The E. coli bacterium normally inhabits the intestine and is usually harmless. The bacterium can invade the bloodstream from the gut during gastro-enteritis or through an abscess. If the bacterium multiplies in the blood it can cause blood poisoning (septicaemia). Septicaemia can cause fever, chills, headaches, skin rashes, jaundice, tissue damage and a large drop in blood pressure. Phase- contrasted images reduce the colour saturation of objects but increase the level of observable detail. Magnification: x1000 at 35mm size.
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