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J Med Virol. 1988 Jul;25(3):281-8.

The morphology of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) by negative staining.

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Department of Virology, United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy's Hospital, London, England.


We have examined preparations of human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) and HIV-2 by negative staining electron microscopy. HIV-2 cultures contained large numbers of 130-200 nm particles containing a 130-nm-long by 30-70 nm-wide core. This core is probably of conical or pear-shaped morphology. Some particles exhibited a short fringe that could be seen to comprise a regular arrangement of repeating subunits when visualised end on. Identical particles were found in HIV-1 cultures but in much lower numbers. Attempts to carry out negative staining immune EM were unsuccessful. Also detected in both HIV-1 and HIV-2 cultures were small (70-80 nm) fringed viruslike particles. The possible significance of these particles is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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