Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Viral detection by electron microscopy: past, present and future.

Abstract : Viruses are very small and most of them can be seen only by TEM (transmission electron microscopy). TEM has therefore made a major contribution to virology, including the discovery of many viruses, the diagnosis of various viral infections and fundamental investigations of virus-host cell interactions. However, TEM has gradually been replaced by more sensitive methods, such as the PCR. In research, new imaging techniques for fluorescence light microscopy have supplanted TEM, making it possible to study live cells and dynamic interactions between viruses and the cellular machinery. Nevertheless, TEM remains essential for certain aspects of virology. It is very useful for the initial identification of unknown viral agents in particular outbreaks, and is recommended by regulatory agencies for investigation of the viral safety of biological products and/or the cells used to produce them. In research, only TEM has a resolution sufficiently high for discrimination between aggregated viral proteins and structured viral particles. Recent examples of different viral assembly models illustrate the value of TEM for improving our understanding of virus-cell interactions.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadata

Cited literature [81 references]  Display  Hide  Download
Contributor : Philippe Roingeard <>
Submitted on : Thursday, January 22, 2009 - 10:34:36 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, December 8, 2020 - 9:57:44 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - 12:15:09 PM


Files produced by the author(s)




Philippe Roingeard. Viral detection by electron microscopy: past, present and future.. Biology of the Cell, Wiley, 2008, 100 (8), pp.491-501. ⟨10.1042/BC20070173⟩. ⟨inserm-00308276⟩



Record views


Files downloads