Scientists from the Biomedical Research Center SAS are advancing in the research of a new coronavirus

Detail vírusových častíc (biele hviezdičky). Šípky – glykoproteínové výbežky (tzv. Spike protein) na povrchu vírusových častíc, voči ktorému je zacielená väčšina vyvíjaných vakcín. (50 nm=0,00000005 m)

Scientists from the Biomedical Research Center SAS were able to visualise the virus particles of the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 isolated from Slovak patients with COVID-19 through the use of electron microscopy. Not only the scientific community but also the general public will have a unique view of the “Slovak” virus, which has been the centre of attention for several months now and undoubtedly a modern “media” star. The acquired image data are currently being analysed with the aim to understand in detail the individual steps of the virus interaction with the infected host cells. 

Equally interesting news is that on August 13, an article titled “Geographical and temporal distribution of SARS-CoV-2 clades in the WHO European Region, January to June 2020” was published in the renowned journal of European infectologists called Eurosurveillance, which deals with the distribution and evolutionary relationship of the SARS CoV-2 virus in European countries in the period from January to June 2020. Thanks to the cooperation of the research team of Dr Boris Klempa of the Biomedical Research Center SAS with colleagues from the University Science Park of Charles University and the Public Health Office in Bratislava, sequences of Slovak isolates SARS-CoV-2 were included in this analysis, and thus the Slovak scientists contributed to the knowledge about the spread and genetic diversity of the new coronavirus in the European region.

 Author of the views: Dr. Marta Novotová

Obr. 1 – SARS CoV-2 virus particles on the cell surface in the area of active plasmalemma (short arrows) and in the vacuole of the cell cytosol (white arrow). j – cell nucleus, m – mitochondria

Obr. 2 – Detail of virus particles (white stars). Arrows – glycoprotein protrusions (the so-called Spike protein) on the surface of virus particles, against which most vaccines under development are targeted (50 nm=0,00000005 m)

Images taken with an electron microscope (JEM 1200), made by RNDr. Marta Novotová, CSc.
Translated by: SAS