DR LINDA STANNARD, UCT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR LINDA STANNARD, UCT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Escherichia coli. Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of a cluster of the bacteria Escherichia coli. They are rod-shaped bacilli, Gram-negative and motile. Each bacterium has a flagellum (green strands), which it can move to propel itself. E. coli bacteria inhabit the intestinal tract of humans where they play a nutritional role by synthesizing vitamins, especially vitamin K. In this way they are harmless and useful. However, some strains of E. coli are pathogenic, causing diarrhoea and urinary tract infections, and even death. Magnification unknown.
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