Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spaghetti and meatball appearance

By adulthood, most people are infected with the JC virus which is named from the initials of John Cunningham a patient who was afflicted by this virus.
Usually, the JC virus causes no problems for infected persons unless their immune system is compromised by AIDS, organ transplantation, some cancers, the use of certain drugs and so on.
Oligodendrocytes, the cells which form myelin that insulates nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord thereby facilitating efficient transmission of nerve impulses are infected by the JC virus.
On electron microscopy of oligodendrocytes in progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) a serious disease caused by the JC virus, virus particles appear as both filamentous and spherical forms resembling spaghetti and meatballs respectively.
Smith AB, Smirniotopolous JG, Rushing EJ. From the archives of the AFIP: central nervous system infections associated with human immunodeficiency virus infection: radiologic-pathologic correlation. Radiographics. 2008, 28(7):2033-58. Go to reference

Spaghetti and meatballs

1 comment:

John said...

Interesting blog, I must admit. The idea of describing health problems with food related terms is quite unique and it's interesting to read about, even if I'm not a doctor. It makes somewhat more understandable and easier to recognize some illnesses.

John, from progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy treatment.