CENTRE FOR INFECTIONS / PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CENTRE FOR INFECTIONS / PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Monkeypox virus particle, coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM). Monkeypox is a poxvirus that was identified in Cynomolgus monkeys in 1958 and then in humans in 1970. The virus consists of a DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) core in a protein coat, or capsid, surrounded by an envelope. The proteins allow the particles to enter and leave host cells. The virus reproduces by entering cells and hijacking their biochemical machinery, producing many copies of itself. Monkeypox is zoonotic, passing from animals (such as rodents) to humans and vice versa. Human infections are often caused by animal bites or from direct contact with infected bodily fluids. There is no proven safe treatment or vaccine for monkeypox (as of 2008). Magnification: x125,000 when printed 10 centimetres tall.
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