Viruses need hosts to survive, and for this
reason they are called obligate parasites. They
take over the machinery of whichever cell they
infect and use its resources to survive
(reproduce, etc.). Certain viruses infect certain
types of cells, which is why when we have a viral
infection only some parts of our body are
infected. Cold viruses can infect throat cells,
HIV affects T-cells of the immune system, and the
latest Ebola virus kills basically any cell in its
path. Some pathways of viruses are unknown, but
usually all of them undergo the lytic cycle.
First, the virus attaches to the host cell and
then releases its genetic material (double
stranded DNA/RNA or single stranded DNA/RNA) into
the cell. Next, the injected genetic material
recruits host cell enzymes which aid in making
more parts of the virus. The virus assemble into
more particles and then the cell breaks to release
them. These cycle keeps happening. Some viruses
can stay in the lysogenic, dormant cycle, where
the genetic material is inserted but they are not
ready to break out with new particles.
Click Here to return to the search form.