NATHAN DEVERY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NATHAN DEVERY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Computer artwork of Escherichia coli bacteria. E. coli is a rod-shaped bacterium (bacillus). Its cell membrane is covered in fine filaments call pili or fimbriae. Hair-like structures called flagella at the rear of each bacterium provide propulsion to make it move. E. coli is a normal component of the intestinal bacterial flora, but under certain conditions some strains can cause severe infections like gastroenteritis.
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