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Human epithelial cells colonised by Neisseria cinerea

  • Errin Johnson
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Credit: Human epithelial cells colonised by Neisseria cinerea. Errin Johnson. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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The bacteria Neisseria are leading causes of meningitis, sepsis and genital tract infection. One way to study how they adhere and interact with cells is to use a commensal (non-pathogenic) species and investigate the genetic basis for adhesion, then use this information to create better vaccines and treatments against pathogenic species. Here, Neisseria cinerea (diplococci bacteria) can be seen colonising the surface of two human epithelial cells, covered in thin membraneous projections called vili which are thought to interact with the bacteria on their surface. The top epithelial cell has connected to the second cell via a thin projection called a filipodia.

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