Virus

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  • ultramicroscopic, virulent organism composed of a nucleoprotein core and a protein shell, which causes certain plant or animal diseases
    Source: Noland, George B. 1983. General Biology, 11th Edition. St. Louis, MO. C. V. Mosby
  • An infectious particle composed of a protein capsule and a nucleic acid core, which is dependent on a host organism for replication. A double-stranded DNA copy of an RNA virus genome that is integrated into the host chromosome during lysogenic infection.
  • A virus is a small collection of genetic code, either DNA or RNA, surrounded by a protein coat. A virus cannot replicate alone. Viruses must infect cells and use components of the host cell to make copies of themselves. Often, they kill the host cell in the process, and cause damage to the host organism. Viruses have been found everywhere on Earth. Researchers estimate that viruses outnumber bacteria by 10 to 1. Because viruses don’t have the same components as bacteria, they cannot be killed by antibiotics; only antiviral medications or vaccines can eliminate or reduce the severity of viral diseases, including AIDS, COVID-19, measles and smallpox.
  • A microorganism that can infect cells and cause disease.


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