GASTROLAB / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GASTROLAB / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Colitis. Colonoscope (endoscope) view of an inflamed colon (large intestine) caused by pseudomembranous colitis (PMC). This is due to a toxin released by an over-abundance of Clostridium difficile bacteria. Plaques (whitish areas) of mucus and dead cells build up on the walls. Symptoms include diarrhoea and abdominal pain. The bacteria are normally present in the intestines of some people, but only proliferate when a course of antibiotics removes the other bacteria with which they compete. PMC is treated by cessation of the causative antibiotics and the use of other drugs to kill the Clostridium bacteria.
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