How the Microscope Works to Detect Smallpox?

Seismic smallpox, also known as monkeypox, is a double-stranded, double-stranded DNA virus of the Poxviridae family and the Orthopoxvirus genus. Viruses of this genus cause diseases in both humans and animals and are characterized because their infections result in the formation of lesions or nodules in the skin.

In the case of seismic smallpox, it begins with a febrile condition, followed by the appearance of indurated and umbilicated skin lesions, that is, depressed in their center. Lesions originate in the head and then spread to the trunk and extremities. After four weeks, the lesions dry and become crusted.

In the past, this disease was mostly limited to occasional epidemics and sporadic cases in Africa. On that continent, the majority of reported cases came from the Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, the Central African Republic, Liberia and Nigeria. However, by 2022, seismic smallpox spread in approximately 70 countries where the disease was not common, so it was declared a public emergency. To be able to diagnose monkeypox, a culture, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), or electron microscope-assisted evaluation must be done. Whether one is used above the other depends on the available tests.

Electron microscope for diagnosis of smallpox

The use of electronic microscopes in laboratories dedicated to the study of viruses and pathologies is very common, since they are a very important equipment when diagnosing diseases caused by viruses. Because viruses are extremely small, at 5-300 nm, they cannot be viewed on conventional microscopes, making them more difficult to study. Although many viruses were discovered and vaccines developed over the past centuries, it was thanks to the invention of the electron microscope in 1931 that the structure of viruses became clear.

This is why they are necessary in the diagnosis of monkeypox, since the cause of the disease is a type of virus. With the use of the electron microscope, images of the virus can be observed from samples taken from patients. Although currently one of the most commonly used methods for diagnosis is PCR, electron microscopy is still used.

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