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Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. These Gram-positive cocci (spherical bacteria) are found in humans and animals. They are found on the skin and the mucous membranes of the nose, throat and other regions. These bacteria are usually harmless, but infection can occur on broken skin or within a blocked sweat or sebaceous gland, resulting in boils, pustules and abscesses. S. aureus can also cause food poisoning, producing toxins that induce vomiting. Certain strains cause the potentially fatal toxic shock syndrome (TSS). Magnification: x9200 at 6x9cm size.
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