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E. coli bacterium

E. coli bacterium

B230/0204

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Credit

DR LINDA STANNARD, UCT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR LINDA STANNARD, UCT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

E. 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; the green filaments on the sides of the bacterium are pili, thin strands of protein used when two bacteria conjugate (transfer DNA). This bacterium 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. Magnification unknown.

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