DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, rod-shaped, obligately anaerobic, gram-negative, saccharolytic bacterium. B. thetaiotaomicron is the most common bacterium found in the human intestinal tract. It is an obligate anaerobic bacterium, which uses various polysaccharides as its source of carbon and energy. Polysaccharides (starch) are the primary form of carbohydrate available for bacterial consumption within the human intestine. B. thetaiotaomicron is also the second most common infectious anaerobic, gram-negative bacterium. It is considered an opportunistic pathogen, frequently associated with peritonitis, septicaemia, and wound infections. B. thetaiotaomicron is capable of causing very serious infections, such as intra-abdominal sepsis and bacteraemia. It is resistant to antimicrobial agents, especially penicillin, which is a cause for major concern. Magnification: x4,000 when shortest axis printed at 25.
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