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1.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 3515, 2021 02 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1078602

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is the causative of the COVID-19 disease, which has spread pandemically around the globe within a few months. It is therefore necessary to collect fundamental information about the disease, its epidemiology and treatment, as well as about the virus itself. While the virus has been identified rapidly, detailed ultrastructural analysis of virus cell biology and architecture is still in its infancy. We therefore studied the virus morphology and morphometry of SARS-CoV-2 in comparison to SARS-CoV as it appears in Vero cell cultures by using conventional thin section electron microscopy and electron tomography. Both virus isolates, SARS-CoV Frankfurt 1 and SARS-CoV-2 Italy-INMI1, were virtually identical at the ultrastructural level and revealed a very similar particle size distribution with a median of about 100 nm without spikes. Maximal spike length of both viruses was 23 nm. The number of spikes per virus particle was about 30% higher in the SARS-CoV than in the SARS-CoV-2 isolate. This result complements a previous qualitative finding, which was related to a lower productivity of SARS-CoV-2 in cell culture in comparison to SARS-CoV.


Subject(s)
SARS-CoV-2/ultrastructure , Virion/ultrastructure , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Electron Microscope Tomography , Plastics , RNA, Viral , Vero Cells , Virus Replication
3.
Nat Neurosci ; 24(2): 168-175, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1060446

ABSTRACT

The newly identified severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes COVID-19, a pandemic respiratory disease. Moreover, thromboembolic events throughout the body, including in the CNS, have been described. Given the neurological symptoms observed in a large majority of individuals with COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 penetrance of the CNS is likely. By various means, we demonstrate the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA and protein in anatomically distinct regions of the nasopharynx and brain. Furthermore, we describe the morphological changes associated with infection such as thromboembolic ischemic infarction of the CNS and present evidence of SARS-CoV-2 neurotropism. SARS-CoV-2 can enter the nervous system by crossing the neural-mucosal interface in olfactory mucosa, exploiting the close vicinity of olfactory mucosal, endothelial and nervous tissue, including delicate olfactory and sensory nerve endings. Subsequently, SARS-CoV-2 appears to follow neuroanatomical structures, penetrating defined neuroanatomical areas including the primary respiratory and cardiovascular control center in the medulla oblongata.


Subject(s)
Brain/virology , COVID-19/virology , Olfactory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Central Nervous System , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics , Smell/physiology , Virus Internalization
4.
Nat Neurosci ; 24(2): 168-175, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-952133

ABSTRACT

The newly identified severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes COVID-19, a pandemic respiratory disease. Moreover, thromboembolic events throughout the body, including in the CNS, have been described. Given the neurological symptoms observed in a large majority of individuals with COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 penetrance of the CNS is likely. By various means, we demonstrate the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA and protein in anatomically distinct regions of the nasopharynx and brain. Furthermore, we describe the morphological changes associated with infection such as thromboembolic ischemic infarction of the CNS and present evidence of SARS-CoV-2 neurotropism. SARS-CoV-2 can enter the nervous system by crossing the neural-mucosal interface in olfactory mucosa, exploiting the close vicinity of olfactory mucosal, endothelial and nervous tissue, including delicate olfactory and sensory nerve endings. Subsequently, SARS-CoV-2 appears to follow neuroanatomical structures, penetrating defined neuroanatomical areas including the primary respiratory and cardiovascular control center in the medulla oblongata.


Subject(s)
Brain/virology , COVID-19/virology , Olfactory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Central Nervous System , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics , Smell/physiology , Virus Internalization
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