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A confocal micrograph of an intestinal biopsy from a child infected with shiga toxin-producing E. coli. Shiga toxin is an extremely potent toxin that is produced when the bacterium contains a bacteriophage carrying the toxin gene. It is closely linked with Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome and acute renal failure in children. After ingestion via contaminated food or water the E. coli bacteria colonize the gut and produce the toxin, which then crosses the gastrointestinal barrier to enter the systemic circulation and reach the kidney and other target organs. In this image, the toxin (green) has crossed into the intestine and is binding to the endothelial cells of the lamina propria (red).

Technical Details

B0004965 Bacterial toxin in the intestine of a child. Wellcome Images available under the following creative commons usage

Biological Sources

NCBI Organism Classification
Homo sapiens
Escherichia coli
Cell Type
endothelial cell
Cellular Component
Shiga toxin

Biological Context

Biological Process
response to bacterium
detection of bacterium
Human Development Anatomy
lamina propria
Human Disease
Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome


S. Schuller
Wellcome Images


Image Type
recorded image
Imaging Mode
confocal microscopy
Parameters Imaged
fluorescence emission
Source of Contrast
distribution of epitope
Processing History
unprocessed raw data

Sample Preparation

chemically fixed tissue
Relation To Intact Cell
sectioned tissue


Spatial Axis Image Size Pixel Size
X 550px ——
Y 576px ——
*CIL – Cell Image Library accession number. Please use this to reference an image.