Electron-microscopic studies of the morphology and development of a coronavirus ( strain), isolated in human foetal diploid lung cells from a case of upper respiratory illness, revealed virus particles of diameter 80 to 160 nm. They were initially observed 12 hr after infection. Extracellular and intracytoplasmic virus concentration increased sharply at 18 hr and reached a maximum at 24 hr. The number of particles decreased slightly at 48 hr and by 72 hr many cells were lysed. The particles formed by budding into the cisternae of the endoplasmic reticulum or into an inclusion composed of tubular structures resembling part of the complete virus particle. There were cytoplasmic inclusions of dense particles within a granular matrix and surrounded by a double membrane. The release of particles by lysis is illustrated. Extracellular virus was specifically tagged with ferritin-labelled antibody.


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