Caption: Bacterial blood infection caused by a rod shaped bacterium. Shown here are short chains of a bacillus bacterium amongst the red blood cells and platelets from the circulatory system. When a strain of harmful bacteria gets into the bloodstream, the resulting infection is called bacterial sepsis, or bacteremia (commonly known as blood poisoning). Multiplication of the harmful bacteria in the blood stream can cause death. When there is a high amount of toxins produced by bacteria in the blood, a septic shock may occur. Septic shock is a highly dangerous condition in which body tissues are damaged. This kind of infection can be serious, but it can usually be successfully treated with antibiotics, if caught early. Use of vaccines against the most common bacteria that cause infections, has made bacterial sepsis less common. Blood infections (also known as septicemia) start at the site of a wound or infection. Bacteria can spread from site of infection to other parts of the body via the blood stream.
Magnification*: x1,600
Type: SEM
Copyright 2008 Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
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