NIBSC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NIBSC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
AIDS virus. Coloured Transmission electron micrograph of a T-lymphocyte blood cell infected with Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the causative agent of AIDS. At bottom is the T-cell surface (yellow), with spherical virus particles in close proximity. The core (red) of each virus, containing RNA, is seen. HIV instructs the cell to reproduce more viruses which bud away, as here, from the cell membrane, to reinfect other T-cells. By this process of viral budding the T-cell is killed. Depletion of the number of T-cells in the blood is the main reason for the destruction of a person's immune system in the disease of AIDS. Magnification: x32,400 at 6x4.5cm size.
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