DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Clostridium tetani endospores and vegetative cells, Gram-positive, anaerobic, endospore-forming, rod prokaryote. Note the flagella. Clostridium tetani is the bacterium that often causes the fatal disease called tetanus. Tetanus is characterized by rigidity and convulsive spasms of skeletal muscle. Spores of C. tetani are found in soil, dust, animal intestines, and animal faeces (including humans). Its occurrence is worldwide but is most commonly found in dense populated regions in hot, damp climates with soil rich in organic matter. Transmission is primarily by contaminated wounds. Magnification: x1,400 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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