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Virus on the attack

Débora F. Barreto-Vieira/IOC/FIOCRUZ

Transmission electron microscope images obtained by researchers from the Oswaldo Cruz Institute (IOC/FIOCRUZ) in Rio de Janeiro, provide a detailed look at how SARS-CoV-2 attacks, infects, and replicates in a culture of Vero cells, a lineage derived from the kidneys of African green monkeys and commonly used for in vitro experiments. The sequence of images shows particles of the novel coronavirus (highlighted) invading a healthy cell, infecting the cytoplasm, where the nucleus that houses its genetic material is located, and replicating inside. After this cycle is complete, particles of the pathogen leave the newly conquered cell and start to infect other healthy cells, establishing its presence in the organism. The photographed virus was isolated from samples of the infectious agent taken from the throat and nose of a COVID-19 patient.