DR LINDA STANNARD, UCT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR LINDA STANNARD, UCT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Escherichia coli. Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of an Escherichia coli bacterium. E. coli are Gram-negative bacilli (rod-shaped) bacteria. Long flagellae (light blue) enable the bacterium to be motile; yellow filaments on the sides of the bacterium are pili, thin strands of protein used when two bacteria conjugate (DNA transfer). E. coli is a normal inhabitant of the human intestine. However, under certain conditions its numbers may increase causing infection. It can cause "traveller's diarrhoea" and urinary tract infections such as cystitis. E.coli is widely used in genetic studies and genetic engineering.
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