DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Candida albicans infected medical catheter. A common yeast, C. albicans can colonize catheters resulting in serious tissue infections. Shown here is the inner surface of an infected catheter (removed from a patient) revealing a yeast biofilm (Candida albicans). Catheters are more commonly infected on the external surface where yeast or bacteria biofilms can easily form. C. albicans is a yeast-like fungus commonly occurring on human skin, in the upper respiratory, alimentary and female genital tracts. This fungus has a dimorphic life cycle with a yeast and hyphal stages. The yeast produces hyphae (strands) from which pseudohyphae branch. The pseudohyphae can give rise to yeast cells by apical or lateral budding. Candida albicans causes candidiasis which includes thrush (an infection of the mouth and vagina) and vulvo-vaginitis. Magnification: x480 when shortest axis printed at 25.
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