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Hard shell-like protective encasement that enables some microorganisms (such as Clostridium) to survive bactericidal chemicals and extreme conditions of cold, heat, and dryness. A microorganism in spore form, although dormant, is much harder to kill than when it is in active form. Diseases caused by spores include anthrax, botulism, gas gangrene, and tetanus. Spores are destroyed only by sterilization. From Greek 'sporos,' seed.

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