STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Bacteria from a human armpit. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM). The human armpit provides an ideal environment for bacterial growth being moist, warm and dark. Two bacterial genera always occurred in the armpit, staphylococci and corynebacteria. The corynebacteria are known to cause malodor in the armpit, whereas staphylococci are known to cause less significant malodor.When the bacteria break down the sweat they form products called thioalcohols, which have scents comparable to sulfur, onions or meat. Research showed that, although the number of bacteria can go very high, the number of different bacteria was rather low. On average, about 100 different bacterial occur in the armpit, which is much less than other body site, like the forearm, legs, face or hands. Magnification: x8500 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.
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