ScienceArt - Image: Cholera Bacterium showing Nucleoid

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Image:Cholera Bacterium showing Nucleoid

Description: Illustration of a prokaryotic, Gram-negative bacterium with a single flagellum. The nucleoid, which contains the genome of the bacterium, can be clearly seen.

Vibrio cholerae is an example of a gram-negative bacterium with a polar flagellum which causes cholera in humans. The potentially deadly cholera toxin is produced using this genetic information, and the toxin payload is secreted into the host organism.

The action of the toxin leads to secretion of chloride and water into the lumen of the intestine resulting in rapid dehydration. In its most severe forms, cholera is one of the most rapidly fatal illnesses known.