Friday, December 20, 2013

Tuberculosis under the Microscope

Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria typically attacks the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidneys, spine and even the brain.

Tuberculosis under microscope
Tuberculosis captured at 100x under a biological microscope.

Tuberculosis is spread through the air from one person to another from coughing, sneezing, speaking or singing. People nearby breathe in these bacteria and become infected. Not everyone infected with TB bacteria will become sick however. Tuberculosis bacteria can live in the human body without making a person sick for years.

Tuberculosis captured at 400x under the U2 digital biological microscope.

Treatment of TB uses antibiotics to kill the bacteria. Effective treatment can be difficult due to the unusual structure and chemical composition of the mycobacterial cell wall. This cell wall hinders the entry of drugs and makes many antibiotics ineffective.

The TB images above were captured using the U2 biological microscope and the 5 megapixel CCD microscope camera. The Tuberculosis prepared slide can be purchased, it is part of the Bacteriology Slide Kit.