DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Mycoplasma sp. Mycoplasmas are the smallest cellular organisms known (diameter 0.3-0.9 microns). They are similar to primitive bacteria but differ from true bacteria in that they lack a cell wall and so display a variety of forms. Mycoplasma pneumoniae causes a pneumonia-like disease in humans. Other species of Mycoplasma infect the respiratory tract of pigs, cattle, sheep and goats. Enzootic pneumonia is caused by Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae. It is widespread in pig populations and endemic in most herds throughout the world. Lacking cell walls these microorganisms are therefore resistant to many antibiotics. Magnification: x40,000 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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