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CoV-2 Virus Budding Fom Lung Cells

This is a colorized scanning electron microscope image of CoV-2-infected lung tissue that was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, by pediatric pulmonologist, Camille Ehre, at UNC-Chapel Hill. Human lung cells were cultured in a lab dish then infected with the virus. The image shows the great number of viral particles that can be released from infected cells in the respiratory tract. The dish contained about 1 million cells and Ehre noted that in just a couple of days, the virus produced by the cells exploded from about 1000 particles to 10 million.


  • Lung cells are purple.
  • They are covered in hair-like cilia (blue) that clear mucus (yellow-green, of course) from the lungs.
  • Red particles are budding CoV-2 particles.


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