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AIDS virus particles

AIDS virus particles

M050/0880

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Credit

CHRIS BJORNBERG / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRIS BJORNBERG / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

AIDS virus particles. Artwork based on a transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of AIDS virus particles (red) erupting from a T-4 lymphocyte white blood cell. AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is a disease caused by HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). The virus infects T-4 white blood cells and forces them to produce more virus particles. These then erupt from the cell and go on to infect other cells. This process kills the white blood cells. As the cells are important in the immune system, the immune response is severely damaged in AIDS. This makes patients vulnerable to otherwise harmless diseases.

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