2021-02-10Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.25646/8809
Morphometry of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 particles in ultrathin plastic sections of infected Vero cell cultures
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.
Files in this item