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Anthrax spores. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Bacillus anthracis bacteria spores. Spores are reproductive cells that are able to survive dormant in unfavourable conditions for long periods of time. B anthracis is the cause of anthrax. It can infect the skin (cutaneous anthrax), causing raised itchy lesions, the lungs (pulmonary anthrax), which is fatal unless treated quickly, and the digestive system (gastrointestinal anthrax), causing vomiting of blood and severe diarrhoea. All forms can be fatal if left untreated. Treatment is with antibiotics. Magnification: x50,000 when printed at 10 centimetres tall.
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