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E coli bacterium

E coli bacterium

B230/0233

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Credit

CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

E. coli bacterium. Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of an Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacterium in the early stages of binary fission, the process by which the bacterium divides. This Gram-negative bacillus (rod-shaped) bacterium normally inhabits the human intestines. Under certain conditions it may undergo rapid division, which increases its numbers to such an extent that it causes infection. E. coli cause 80% of all urinary tract infections, travellers' diarrhoea and gastroenteritis in children. The hair-like appendages around the bacterium are pili, structures used for bacterial conjugation. Magnification: x17,500 at 6x7cm size.

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