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Researchers Publish Striking Images of SARS-CoV-2 Infected Cells

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The UNC School of Medicine lab of Camille Ehre, PhD, generated high-powered microscopic images showing startlingly high SARS-CoV-2 viral loads on human respiratory surfaces, ready to spread infection in infected individuals and to others.

In a laboratory setting, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was inoculated into human bronchial epithelial cells. This inoculation, which was performed in a biosafety level 3 facility, had a multiplicity of infection (indicating the ratio of virus particles to targeted airway cells) of 3:1. These cells were then examined 96 hours after infection with the use of scanning electron microscopy. An en face image (Panel A) shows an infected ciliated cell with strands of mucus attached to the cilia tips. At higher magnification, an image (Panel B) shows the structure and density of SARS-CoV-2 virions produced by human airway epithelial cells. Virus production was approximately 3×106 plaque-forming units per culture, a finding that is consistent with a high number of virions produced and released per cell.

Credit: Camille Ehre, Ph.D., Baric and Boucher Laboratories at University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC

The UNC School of Medicine laboratory of Camille Ehre, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, produced striking images in respiratory tract cultures of the infectious form of the SARS-CoV-2 virus produced by infected respiratory epithelial cells. The New England Journal of Medicine featured this work in its “Images in Medicine” section.
A higher power magnification image shows the structure and density of SARS-CoV-2 virions (red) produced by human airway epithelia.

Credit:  Ehre Lab, UNC School of Medicine
Ehre, a member of the UNC Marsico Lung Institute and the UNC Children’s Research Institute, captured these images to illustrate how intense the SARS-CoV-2 infection of the airways can be in very graphic and easily understood images. Her lab conducted this research in collaboration with the labs of Ralph Baric, PhD, the William R. Kenan Distinguished Professor of Epidemiology at the UNC Gillings School of Public Health, who holds a joint faculty appointment at the UNC Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and Richard Boucher, MD, the James C. Moeser Eminent Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Director of the Marsico Lung Institute at the UNC School of Medicine.

In a laboratory setting, the researchers inoculated the SARS-Co-V-2 virus into human bronchial epithelial cells, which were then examined 96 hours later using scanning electron microscopy.

SARS-CoV-2 virions (red).

Credit: Ehre Lab, UNC School of Medicine

The images, re-colorized by UNC medical student Cameron Morrison, show infected ciliated cells with strands of mucus (yellow) attached to cilia tips (blue). Cilia are the hair-like structures on the surface of airway epithelial cells that transport mucus (and trapped viruses) from the lung. A higher power magnification image shows the structure and density of SARS-CoV-2 virions (red) produced by human airway epithelia. Virions are the complete, infectious form of the virus released onto respiratory surfaces by infected host cells.

This imaging research helps illustrate the incredibly high number of virions produced and released per cell inside the human respiratory system. The large viral burden is a source for spread of infection to multiple organs of an infected individual and likely mediates the high frequency of COVID-19 transmission to others. These images make a strong case for the use of masks by infected and uninfected individuals to limit SARS-CoV-2 transmission.


Contacts and sources:
Mark DerewiczUniversity of North Carolina School of Medicine

Publication: SARS-CoV-2 Infection of Airway Cells List of authors. Camille Ehre, Ph.D.



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  • DON ROBER>to

    [""These images make a strong case for the use of masks by infected and uninfected individuals to limit SARS-CoV-2 transmission.""

    Objection. Because this sentence is an assumption, and the spectrum of investigations under which circumstances and defined exclusion procedure of factors that are relevant to make this definition untouchable.

    All these investigations excludes ad most important forensic investigative questions, what caused in reality all the death-cases, quickly put into ash, to make a deeper forensic investigation impossible :

    - 5G
    - CO2 concentration by wearing the non-medical Made-in-China plastic mask, enriched with unknown particles and non-medical production and environmental conditions and disability including logistics
    - Health records. All cases in connection with what kind of pre-existing conditions
    -deaths due to overconcentration of CO2 in children are current. So also with older and younger generations, which are burdened with health problems, which can change the blood and cell picture completely negatively and surely let the acid develop a completely different picture.

    Of really many specialists mitler meanwhile confirmed, causes the carrying of this undefined mass product without any medically safer examined certificate and above all very meticulous and conscientious application, very health-endangering is and nobody gives an unlimited personal explanation under oath that it is not at that. Do we know what kind of unknown nanoparticle are included, being inhaled?

    It can be said clearly: Every person is UNIQUE. Each system of the body is therefore different and has a different energy balance and a different capacity to process billions of all kinds of bacteria and toxic nanoparticles, which are inhaled during each breathing process, to be processed by the auto-immune system in order to work out the necessary measures to strengthen the organism in the process processing. It is therefore very questionable whether private commercial unification makes sense here, when the true background of this CAN-F-US ion-CHINA Laboratory-Collaborative Power Trade War, which is about Trillions of Dollars, is who here is defining the dominance of the associated chain-supply management businesses around the markets of the particular cartel owners.

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