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Pulmonary anthrax, X-ray

Pulmonary anthrax, X-ray

M108/0570

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Credit

SCOTT CAMAZINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCOTT CAMAZINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Pulmonary anthrax, coloured chest X-ray. The lungs (dark spaces at upper right and upper left) have been infected by the Bacillus anthracis bacterium, inhaled and passed through the highlighted region (red). Inhalation of anthrax spores is usually fatal, as the spores produce toxins that rupture the microscopic lung pockets (alveoli) where the blood is oxygenated. Treatment with an antibiotic drug (like Cipro: ciprofloxacin hydrochloride) is required before symptoms appear. Anthrax bacteria are found in the soil and also on livestock. They are easily cultured, and could be used in biological warfare or terrorism. Photograph by US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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