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Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a whole T- lymphocyte infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the causative agent of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The T- lymphocyte 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 are in the process of budding away from the cell membrane. Depletion of the population of T4 lymphocytes through HIV infection is the main reason for the destruction of the immune system in AIDS. Magnification: x20,000 at 10x8 size.
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