Version 1 du 14 Mai 2020
The strengths of scanning electron microscopy in deciphering SARS-CoV-2 infectious cycle
Djamal Brahim Belhaouari, Anthony Fontanini, Jean-Pierre Baudoin, Gabriel Haddad, Marion Le Bideau, Jacques Yaacoub Bou Khalil, Didier Raoult, Bernard La Scola
Electron microscopy is a powerful tool in the field of microbiology. It has played a key role in the rapid diagnosis of viruses in patient samples and has contributed significantly to the clarification of virus structure and function, helping to guide the public health response to emerging viral infections. In the present study, we used scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to study the infectious cycle of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) in Vero E6 cells and we controlled some key findings by classical transmission electronic microscopy (TEM). The replication cycle of the virus was followed from 1 to 52 hours post-infection. Our results revealed that SARS-CoV-2infected the cells through membrane fusion. Particles are formed in the peri-nuclear region from a budding of the endoplasmic reticulum – Golgi apparatus complex into morphogenesis matrix vesicae. New SARS-CoV-2 particles were expelled from the cells, through cell lysis or by fusion of virus-containing vacuoles with the cell plasma membrane. Overall, this cycle is highly comparable to that of SARS-CoV. By providing a detailed and complete SARS-CoV-2 infectious cycle, SEM proves to be a very rapid and efficient tool compared to classical TEM.