NIBSC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NIBSC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
AIDS viruses. Coloured scanning electron micrograph of a T-lymphocyte blood cell (green) infected with Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (red), causative agent of AIDS. The surface of the T-cell has a lumpy appearance with large irregular surface protrusions. Smaller spherical structures on the cell surface are HIV virus particles budding away from the cell membrane. The virus has infected the T-cell, and instructed the cell to reproduce many more viruses. By this viral budding the T- cell dies. Depletion of the number of T- cells in the blood is the main reason for the destruction of the immune system in AIDS. Magnification: x6,000 at 6x7cm size.
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