STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Actinomycosis. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of tissue from a patient with actinomycosis. Actinomycosis is a chronic suppurative disease caused by anaerobic filamentous bacteria in the order Actinomycetales. The disease occurs worldwide and is mostly seen in tropical regions such as Asia, Africa, central and south America. Males are more frequently affected. The principal agent of actinomycosis in humans is Actinomyces israelii, a Gram-positive, branching, anaerobic or microaerophilic bacterium. Actinomyces species may form endospores, and, while individual bacteria are rod-shaped, Actinomyces colonies form fungus-like branched networks of hyphae. Magnification x 3000 when printed at 10cm wide.
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