GEOFF TOMPKINSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GEOFF TOMPKINSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Herpesvirus. Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of herpesvirus particles. This family of viruses causes herpes and chickenpox. The viral particle consists of a protein shell (capsid) enclosed by a lipoprotein membrane. The capsid contains the genetic material, deoxyribo- nucleic acid (DNA), in complex with proteins. The particle shown here is unusual in that it contains two capsids (brown spheres). Infection is spread by direct contact between mucosal surfaces and results in the eruption of small, painful blisters on the skin. The virus can remain dormant within the host tissue, reactivating at a later date. Magnification unknown.
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