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ID#:18130
Description:Produced by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), this digitally-colorized scanning electron microscopic (SEM) image depicts a number of yellow-colored Yersinia pestis bacteria that had gathered on the proventricular spines of a Xenopsylla cheopis flea. These spines line the interior of the proventriculus, a part of the flea’s digestive system. The Y. pestis bacterium is the pathogen that causes bubonic plague. Please see the Flickr link below, for additional NIAID photomicrographs of various bacteria.
Plague is a disease that affects humans and other mammals. It is caused by the bacterium, Yersinia pestis. Humans usually get plague after being bitten by a rodent flea that is carrying the plague bacterium, or by handling an animal infected with plague. Plague is infamous for killing millions of people in Europe during the Middle Ages. Today, modern antibiotics are effective in treating plague. Without prompt treatment, the disease can cause serious illness or death. Presently, human plague infections continue to occur in the western United States, but significantly more cases occur in parts of Africa and Asia.
High Resolution: Click here for hi-resolution image (12.04 MB)
Content Providers(s):National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Creation Date:2011
Photo Credit:National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Links:CDC – National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID); Division of Vector-Borne Diseases (DVBD); Plague
Flickr –National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID); Microbes; Images of Various Microbes
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Copyright Restrictions:None - This image is in the public domain and thus free of any copyright restrictions. As a matter of courtesy we request that the content provider be credited and notified in any public or private usage of this image.

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