How a Viral Disease Replicates
A virus is a type of bacterium or virus that infects living things. There are about 500 different kinds of viruses. The word “virus” comes from the Greek words virusa, meaning “impure,” and metron, meaning “blood”. A virus might infect a single cell, but a virus can cause the infected cell to multiply by itself without the body’s help.
When a virus invades a living cell, it leads to a particular set of biochemical reactions in the host cell. This sets off a chain reaction called infection. Once the infection is started, the viral particle replicates itself inside the host cell. In turn, the replication results in the production of more copies of the virus, and so on. Most viruses possess DNA or RNA as their genetic material; however, the nucleic acid can also be double-strand or single-strand.
A single-strand strand of DNA can replicate itself in a living host cell for as long as a couple of million years. Because single strands of DNA can be very long, it is impossible to record every virus in existence. However, researchers have sequenced the HIV genome, or the genetic blueprint of HIV. If you want to get a copy of your own HIV genome, there are several options available. You can pay a doctor to retrieve your HIV genome from an autopsy, freeze it in liquid nitrogen, collect it from a blood sample, or generate it yourself using laboratory equipment.
Viruses can replicate within cells in a variety of ways. Envelopes containing viral proteins can be opened and virus particles can be inhaled, ingested, or injected into the body. If a virus is unable to replicate within a host cell, the protein coating the envelope will be destroyed, leaving a DNA fragment that is left within the host cell. In order for this DNA to duplicate, it must attach itself to another DNA fragment and become a part of that cell.
Although it seems improbable, some viruses might have the ability to create their own genetic material to replace themselves. These genetic fragments would then travel through the body to other parts and be carried to other places on the body, including the lungs and the immune system. Researchers have discovered a few specific types of rna that seem to be capable of traveling in this manner.
The herpes simplex virus and Epstein-Barr virus, which both affect the respiratory system, and the cytomegalo virus, which causes mononucleosis, are two viruses that can both cause a host of respiratory illnesses, such as pneumonia and fever. Recently, scientists discovered another virus that replicates inside cells and may also have the ability to invade and affect other parts of the body. This virus, called enteroviruses, copies itself into thousands of copies, and researchers are still working on determining how it works. It has already been found to be very contagious, and other types of viruses could be just waiting for it to infect more cells.