/ virus pictures / Smallpox pictures / Smallpox or Variola virion (virus particle)
Above: surface view illustration of Smallpox virus or virion (virus particle). Image measures 500 pixels across, original image is 1380 pixels across.
EXPLANATION OF PICTURE: The smallpox virus consists of genetic material (one molecule of double stranded DNA) contained in a core. The core is wrapped by several layers of host cell membrane. In this illustration, the virus is tilted, showing the rounded biconcave brick shaped core in whose depressions nestle the "lateral bodies". Only the top lateral body (dark purple) is visible from this angle. The poxviruses are the most complicated type of animal virus