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Colour enhanced scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of bifidobacterium breve. Bifidobacteria are gram-positive, anaerobic, branched rod-shaped bacteria with a very wide variety of species (Bifidobacterium breve shown here). Bifidobacteria have a unique hexose metabolism, called the bifid shunt, which may be used as a diagnostic test for bifidobacteria because it is not found in other gram-positive intestinal bacteria. Bifidobacteria are probiotic, friendly bacteria, which means that they may beneficially affect the host upon ingestion by improving the balance of the intestinal microflora. Image width: 6.4 micrometers. Magnification:15,625x if printed 10 cm wide.
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