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Fiocruz isolates monkeypox virus and records its detailed structure


Oswaldo Cruz Institute/Fiocruz


Image obtained by researchers at the Oswaldo Cruz Institute (IOC/Fiocruz) shows the moment in which a cell undergoes a degeneration process after infection by the monkeypox virus.

Cell alteration caused by viral infection (photo: Milene Dias Miranda, IOC/Fiocruz)

To capture the cytopathic effect in monolayer, as it is called scientifically, inoculation of the clinical sample from an infected patient into Vero lineage cells, a model often used for in vitro assays and viral isolation, was performed. This procedure was performed in a biosafety level 3 (NBA3) laboratory at the IOC/Fiocruz.



In another click, obtained in a transmission electron microscope, it is possible to see the cell ultrastructure after pathogen replication, more precisely, infecting the cytoplasm, the region where the nucleus is, responsible for storing the cell genetic material.

Viral particles replicate inside the cell (photo: Débora F. Barreto-Vieira, IOC/Fiocruz)

By magnifying the image 40,000 times, it is possible to more closely identify the viral particles in the replication process in the cytoplasm of the cell.

From the images, it could be verified that despite the small size of the virus in relation to the cell - which is 300 times larger - it is able to infect the structure and replicate itself easily.

From the records, it is estimated that the monkeypox virus measures 300 nanometers, on average (photo: Débora F. Barreto-Vieira, IOC/Fiocruz)

The research Isolation and ultrastructural studies of monkeypox virus in Vero cells from clinical samples (in Portuguese, Isolamento e estudos ultraestruturais do monkeypox vírus em células Vero a partir de amostras clínicas) is coordinated by the head of the Laboratory of Morphology and Viral Morphogenesis, Debora Ferreira Barreto Vieira, with her team collaboration (Milene Dias Miranda, Gabriela Cardoso Caldas, and Vivian Ferreira), in partnership with the Enterovirus Laboratory team, headed by Edson Elias, who acts as a reference in laboratory diagnosis in monkeypox for the Ministry of Health, and who was responsible for the viral detection in the sample used in the study.

Check out the high-resolution images.

Images reproduction is authorized provided the source is fully acknowledged:

Débora F. Barreto-Vieira, IOC/Fiocruz (for the photographs showing the viral particles);

Milene Dias Miranda, IOC/Fiocruz (for the inverted microscope image).

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