DR KARI LOUNATMAA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR KARI LOUNATMAA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Candida albicans, a yeast like fungus commonly present on human skin & in the upper respiratory, alimentary and female genital tracts. It is normally harmless, but it can become pathogenic when the body's resistance is weakened through malnutrition or general debility, diabetes or antibiotic treatment. It can then cause a number of diseases including thrush, an infection of the mouth & vagina, and vulvo-vaginitis, a white discharge from the vagina. The fungus produces hyphae (strands) from which pseudohyphae branch, carrying the blastospores visible in this image. Magnification: x2,100 at 6x7cm size.
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