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Press releases from 08.03.2012

First visualization of Schmallenberg virus

Schematic diagram and electron microscopy image of the Schmallenberg virus. The image shows a membrane-enveloped virus particle containing the three segments of the genetic information.
Schematic diagram and electron microscopy image of the Schmallenberg virus. The image shows a membrane-enveloped virus particle containing the three segments of the genetic information. © Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut

Insel Riems - March 8, 2012. Scientists of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI) on the Isle of Riems have first succeeded in visualizing the so-called „Schmallenberg virus“.

The work group for electron microscopy led by Dr. Harald Granzow of the Institute of Infectology of the FLI on the Isle of Riems has visualized the pathogen by high-resolution electron microscopic analyses of infected cells. The shape of the virus is similar to that of other bunyaviruses; the virus is visible as a membrane-enveloped particle with a diameter of approx. 100 nanometers (1nm = 1 millionth of a millimeter). The membrane envelops the three segments of the genetic information. „This is another important step forward in the understanding of Schmallenberg virus’, explains the President of the FLI, Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Thomas C. Mettenleiter.


The Schmallenberg virus (center) with a diameter of 100 nanometers (150.000-fold enlargement).
The Schmallenberg virus (center) with a diameter of 100 nanometers (150.000-fold enlargement). © Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut

Schmallenberg virus was described for the first time worldwide in November by a group of scientists of the Institute of Diagnostic Virology of the FLI, led by Dr. Martin Beer. It is transmitted by insects and is responsible for malformations in newborn lambs and calves.

On request, the image can be made available to the media in high resolution quality.




Contact:

Dipl.-Biol. Elke Reinking (Press Officer)
Südufer 10, 17493 Greifswald - Insel Riems
Telephone: +49 38351 7-1244, Fax: +49 38351 7-1226
E-Mail: Elke.Reinking@we dont want spamfli.bund.de