New Images of Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 Now Available

NIAID Now | February 13, 2020

This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in the lab.

Credit: NIAID-RML

NIAID’s Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) in Hamilton, Montana, produced images of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2, previously known as 2019-nCoV) on its scanning and transmission electron microscopes on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. SARS-CoV-2 causes COVID-19 disease, which has grown to be a global public health emergency since cases were first detected in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. RML investigator Emmie de Wit, Ph.D., provided the virus samples as part of her studies, microscopist Elizabeth Fischer produced the images, and the RML visual medical arts office digitally colorized the images.

Note that the images do not look much different from MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, which emerged in 2012) or the original SARS-CoV (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, which emerged in 2002). That is not surprising: The spikes on the surface of coronaviruses give this virus family its name – corona, which is Latin for “crown,” and most any coronavirus will have a crown-like appearance.

These images are available to the public for free high-resolution download on the NIAID Flickr page. NIAID asks all who use the images to please credit NIAID-RML unless otherwise noted in the Flickr image description.

Novel Coronavirus 2019

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