HIV infected T-cell. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a whole T-lymphocyte white blood cell infected with the HIV virus (red dots). HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is the cause of AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). This T-cell is from a culture cell line known as H9. An infected T-cell typically has a lumpy appearance with irregular rounded surface protrusions. Small spherical virus particles visible on the surface (red) are in the process of budding from the cell membrane. Depletion in the blood of T4 lymphocytes through HIV infection is the main reason for the destruction of the immune system in AIDS. Magnification: x5,600 at 6x7cm size.
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