Segmented Filamentous Bacteria

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Head unit of segmented filamentous bacteria - Candiatus arthromitus - Gram-positive anaerobic microbes. The SFB represent a unique component of the indigenous gut flora. The microbes specifically colonize the ileal epithelium. The first head piece of the organism inserts in the apical membrane of villus-associated enterocytes. Note that the interaction does not disrupt surrounding apical microvilli, contrasting with the effects produced by pathogens such as Salmonella typhimurium.

A series of 'box car' shaped cells follows the head piece, creating a long filamentous organism that spans the length of many enterocytes . Distally located cells undergo sporulation, releasing spores into the intestinal lumen. rRNA analyses indicate the SFB are closely related to the clostridia. However, little is known about their life cycle, or methods of adherence to differentiated enterocytes.

Key points in this image
segmented filamentous bacteria | apical microvilli | actin accumulation | host cytoplasm |
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Module Name: sfb
Module Title: Segmented Filamentous Bacteria
Image Info: Electron micrograph, XX,XXX magnification.
Created by: Lynn Bry
Last modified: Dec. 12th, 1996.

Created with Annotation 1.0