ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Pneumonia. Coloured frontal X-ray of the lungs of a 57-year-old woman with pneumonia. The lungs are the dark spaces at left and right. The pneumonia (a bacterial infection) has infected the right lung (at left) and caused the opacities (white areas) seen in the lung tissue. The structures down centre (including the spine, heart and breast bone) separate the two lungs; the diaphragm and breasts are across bottom; the collar bones are across top, and the ribs enclose the lungs. Bacterial pneumonia, which results in inflammation of the lung, is most commonly caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae. The pathogen is inhaled into a lung segment, or lobe, where it causes the alveoli (air sacs) to become blocked with pus. Treatment is with antibiotics.
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