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Bodo saltans ingesting bacteria

David Goulding, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
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Bodo saltans is a free-living kinetoplastic bacterivore related to and predating pathogenic trypanosomes including T. brucei and Leishmania. This image shows a single cell ingesting two bacteria which it catches on the shorter of two flagella and directs to the flagellar pocket for endocytosis. This cell is just over 4 µm long excluding the two flagella. This image was produced as part of a study aimed at understanding the cellular processes of this organism, in order to provide insight into how it may have evolved to become a devastating human pathogen. Studies have shown that some bacteria, having entered these cells, become activated in order to evade digestion in a way which mimics their behaviour inside human macrophages.

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