The image, magnified here about 11,200 times, captures the exact instant that Trypanosoma cruzi exits a mammalian cell. As it invades the host cells, the parasite that causes Chagas disease multiplies itself to then break through and reach the neighboring cells. The culture cells (gray background) were fixed and processed for viewing under a scanning electron microscope, which allows high-resolution display of details of the escape of the numerous parasites (in blue) from a single cell. The image is part of a collection of data obtained for the study of T. cruzi conducted by doctoral candidate Pilar Florentino together with professors Cristina Orikaza, Patrícia Milanez and André Aguillera of the Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp), under the supervision of Renato Mortara.
Photo submitted by parasitologist Renato A. Mortara, Director-in-Charge of the Unifesp Microscopy Center
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