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Characterizing Viral Infection by Electron Microscopy: Lessons from the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic.

Authors
  • Akilesh, Shreeram1
  • Nicosia, Roberto F1
  • Alpers, Charles E1
  • Tretiakova, Maria1
  • Hsiang, Tien-Ying2
  • Gale, Michael Jr2
  • Smith, Kelly D3
  • 1 Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
  • 2 Center for Innate Immunity and Immune Disease, Department of Immunology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
  • 3 Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington. Electronic address: [email protected]
Type
Published Article
Journal
American Journal Of Pathology
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Nov 20, 2020
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2020.11.003
PMID: 33227297
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 pandemic has infected millions of individuals in the United States and caused hundreds of thousands of deaths. Direct infection of extrapulmonary tissues has been postulated, and using sensitive techniques, viral RNA has been detected in multiple organs in the body, including the kidney. However, direct infection of tissues outside of the lung has been more challenging to demonstrate. This has been in part due to misinterpretation of electron microscopy studies. In this perspective, we will discuss what is known about coronavirus infection, some of the basic ultrastructural cell biology that has been confused for coronavirus infection of cells, and rigorous criteria that should be used when identifying pathogens by electron microscopy. Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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