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VIROLOGY

General Characteristics of Viruses:

Obligate intracellular parasite

Has a single type of nucleic acid, either DNA or RNA

Contain a protein coat that surrounds the nucleic acid

Unable to replicate on their own

Do not divide by binary fission, mitosis, or meiosis

Lack genes and enzymes necessary for energy production

The host range of a virus is the spectrum of host cells that virus can infect.

Most viruses are able to infect specific types of cells of only one species.

For a virus to infect the host cell, the outer surface of the virus must chemically interact with specific
receptor sites on the surface of the cell.

BACTERIOHAGES Phages

> These are viruses that infect bacteria.

Receptor sites maybe:

a. Part of the cell wall of the host

b. Part of fimbriae or flagella

c. Plasma membrane of the host cells


VIRAL SIZES:

Different viruses vary considerably in size.

Determined with the aid of electron microscope.

May range from 20 to 1000nm in length.

VIRAL STRUCTURE

VIRION a complete, fully developed, infectious viral particle composed of nucleic acid and
surrounded by a protein coat.
PARTS OF A VIRUS:

Viruses are classified by the following characteristics:

1. Presence or absence of an envelope


a. Enveloped virus covered by an envelope.
E.g. Influenza virus Herpes simplex virus
b. Nonenveloped virus viruses whose capsid are not covered by an envelope.
E.g. Hepatitis B virus Coronavirus
@ The capsid of a nonenveloped virus protects the nucleic acid from nuclease enzymes and promotes
virus attachment to susceptible host.

2. Type of genetic material

a. DNA virus
b. RNA virus
> Either a double-stranded or single-stranded DNA or RNA virus.

DNA VIRUS RNA VIRUS

Parvovirus (single- Picornavirus (single-


3. Shape of stranded) stranded) capsid or capsid
architecture
Adenovirus Reovirus (double-
a. HELICAL (double-stranded) stranded) VIRUSES resemble
long rods that may be rigid or
flexible

E.g. Ebola virus


b. POLYHEDRAL VIRUS
many-sided virus

> ICOSAHEDRON a
regular polyhedron with 20 triangular faces and 12 corners.

E.g. Adenovirus Poliovirus

c. COMPLEX VIRUS
have a complicated
structure

E.g. Bacteriophages
4. Number of capsomeres

5. Size of the capsid

6. Type of host that it infects

7. Type of disease it produces

8. Target cell

9. Immunologic or antigenic properties

TAXONOMY OF VIRUSES:

ICTV (International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses has been grouping viruses into families based
on:

a. Nucleic acid type

b. Strategy fro replication

c. Morphology

virus used for genus names

viridae for family names

ales for order names

E.g. Family Hepersviridae, genus Herpesvirus

A viral species is a group of viruses sharing the same genetic information and ecological niche (host
range).

Specific epithets for viruses are not used.

Designated by descriptive common names

> E.g. HIV Human immunodeficiency virus


ISOLATION, CULTIVATION, AND IDENTIFICATION OF VIRUSES

Viruses must be provided with living cells instead of a fairly simple


chemical medium.

Viruses that uses bacterial cells as a host are rather easily grown on
bacterial cultures.

Bacteriophages can be grown either in suspensions of bacteria in


liquid media or bacterial cultures in solid media.

PLAQUE METHOD for detecting and counting viruses using a solid


media.

While plaques form, uninfected bacteria elsewhere in the Petri plate


multiply rapidly and produce a turbid background.

PLAQUE-FORMING UNITS (PFU) the concentrations of viral


suspensions measured by the number of plaques .

Growing Animal Viruses in the Laboratory:

1. Animal inoculation

Some viruses can be cultured only in living animals.

May be used as a diagnostic procedure for identifying and isolating a virus from a clinical specimen.

2. In Embryonated eggs

Fairly convenient and inexpensive form.

A hole is drilled in the shell of the embryonated eggs,


and a viral suspension is injected into the fluid of the
egg.

Signs of Viral Growth:

Death of the embryo:

a. Cell damage
b. Formation of typical pocks or lesions on the egg membranes.

3. In Cell Cultures

Preferred type of growth medium in many viruses.

Consist of cell grown in culture media in the laboratory.

Homogenous collection of cells --- more convenient to work with.

CYTOPATHIC EFFECT

VIRAL IDENTIFICATION

Viruses cannot be seen at all without the use of an electron microscope.

Serological methods most commonly used means to identify virus.

E.g. Western blot the virus is detected and identified by its reaction with antibodies.

Other modern molecular methods used by virologists:

> Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)


> Restriction fragment length Polymorphisms (RFLPs)

MULTIPLICATION OF BACTERIOPHAGES:

LYTIC CYCLE:

Attachment Phage attaches by tail fibers to host cell

Penetration Phage lysozyme opens cell wall, tail sheath contracts to force tail
core and DNA into cell

Biosynthesis Production of phage DNA and proteins

Maturation Assembly of phage particles

Release Phage lysozyme breaks cell wall


LYSOGENIC CYCLE

MULTIPLICATION OF ANIMAL VIRUS:

Attachment Viruses attaches to cell membrane (receptors are inherited)

Penetration By endocytosis or fusion (enveloped entryviruses)

Uncoating By viral or host enzymes

Biosynthesis Production of nucleic acid and proteins

Maturation Nucleic acid and capsid proteins assemble

Release By budding (enveloped viruses) or rupture

VIRUSES AND CANCER:

ONCOGENIC VIRUSES viruses that causes cancer.

> Oncoviruses

> Can be activated by a variety of agents mutagenic chemicals, high-energy radiation and viruses.

10% of Cancers are known to be virus-induced.

DNA ONCOGENIC VIRUSES

> Adenoviridae > Herpesviridae


> Poxviridae > Papovaviridae

> Hepadnaviridae

RNA ONCOGENIC VIRUSES

> Retroviridae

LATENT VIRAL INFECTIONS

A virus can remain in equilibrium with the host and not actually produce disease for a long period of
time.

An infected person is always harboring the virus in the nerve cells, the signs and symptoms may come
and go depending on the defense system of the human body.

E.g. Herpes virus infection Shingles

Chicken pox blisters

Chicken Pox Shingles

@ Shingles occurs in 10 to 20% of people who have had chickenpox.

PERSISTENT VIRAL INFECTIONS

Chronic viral infection

Occurs gradually overlong period of time.

E.g. Measles Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE)

INCLUSION BODIES

Remnants or collection of viruses often seen in infected cells and used as diagnostic tool to identify
certain viral diseases.

E.g. Negri bodies Rabies


Guarnieri bodies Smallpox

VIROIDS

Consist of short, naked fragments of single-stranded RNA that can interfere with the metabolism and
growth of plants, sometimes killing the plants in the process.

No animal diseases have been discovered that are caused by viroids.

E.g. Potato spindle tuber

Citrus exocortis

PRIONS

Are small infectious proteins that apparently cause fatal neurologic diseases in animals.

E.g.

@ SCRAPIE infected animals scrape themselves against fence posts and other objects in an effort to
relieve the intense pruritus associated with the disease.

E.g.

@ KURU a disease that was once common among natives of Papua, New Guinea, where women and
children ate human brains as part of traditional burial custom.

> If infected with prions, then the person who ate those brain developed kuru.

> Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease