A video showing the action of the coronavirus within bat species brain cells myotis myotis received an honorable mention in an international photomicrography competition. The images were produced by French researchers Sophie-Marie Aicher and Delphine Planas, from the Pasteur Institute.
The video is part of research conducted by the pair who, on May 31, published an as-yet-unreviewed preliminary version of a study on the replication of Sars-CoV-2 in bat cells.
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In the images selected by Nikon, sponsor of the competition, it is possible to see in gray the healthy brain cells of bats. In red, microscopic capture shows when infected cells join with neighboring ones to form larger masses, until they die.
“Our data show the existence of specific molecular barriers against viral replication in bat cells”, state the researchers.
As the pair points out in the study, the images show the production of virions – the complete viral particles – in cells, but they do not show the release of new viruses and the proliferation of Sars-Cov-2 in the tissue studied.
Unlike what happens in humans, bats do not get sick because they are natural reservoirs of coronaviruses. In humans, infected cells are unable to alert you to the presence of the virus, which continues to replicate.
See the coronavirus 200,000 times magnified