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© Andres Alcover
Scanning electron microscopy showing a conjugate formed between a T lymphocyte and an antigen presenting cell. It is worth noting the long shape of the T cell (Tc) polarized towards the antigen presenting cell (APC) and the membrane protrusions that adhere the T lymphocyte to the antigen presenting cell.
Publication : Trends in microbiology

Can viruses form biofilms?

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Trends in microbiology - 31 Mar 2011

Thoulouze MI, Alcover A

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 21458997

Trends Microbiol. 2011 Jun;19(6):257-62

The recent finding that the human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) encases itself in a carbohydrate-rich adhesive extracellular ‘cocoon’, which enables its efficient and protected transfer between cells, unveiled a new infectious entity and a novel mechanism of viral transmission. These HTLV-1 structures are observed at the surface of T cells from HTLV-1-infected patients and are reminiscent of bacterial biofilms. The virus controls the synthesis of the matrix, which surrounds the virions and attaches them to the T cell surface. We propose that, similar to bacterial biofilms, viral biofilms could represent ‘viral communities’ with enhanced infectious capacity and improved spread compared with ‘free’ viral particles, and might constitute a key reservoir for chronic infections.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21458997