What Is Viral Replication?
The word “virus” is not always recognized as something with a medical definition. However, the medical community does recognize certain types of virus infections as serious medical conditions that should be treated with care. In fact, the major illness and infections from viruses are not considered to be normal parts of life for most people. Most people would not want to be living with cancer or other serious virus diseases.
A virus is composed of a small core of viral DNA or RNA surrounded by a protective envelope called a capsid that consists of protein. Sometimes the capid is also surrounded by another slightly thicker coating called the envelope. Viruses are able to latch onto target cells within the body and get inside them. Once inside, the virus replicates itself often times at an astonishing rate. Although it is extremely harmful to the host cell, the viruses often spread between the host cell and the neighboring cells or even the tissues surrounding the infected cell.
Some viruses replicate more easily than others. Some viruses only need to replicate once for their cycle to complete. There are some viruses however, that have the ability to reproduce themselves and then stop replication when the incubation period is over. After the replication process is complete, the viruses are inactive and cannot harm healthy cells.
The inactive virus remains in the host cell until it senses an opportunity to replicate within the host cell’s framework. It triggers this biological reaction within the host cell and the viral attack occurs. This viral attack may last anywhere from a few seconds to a few hours. While the virus is active, it replicates almost all of its components including the virus coding. However, it has been found that only some viruses are responsible for triggering this response within the host cell and then the virus will not replicate within the host cell once the initial viral infection is over.
If a virus replicates too quickly and unintentionally damages the host cell, it is known as viral reactivation. In order to avoid this, viral replications need to be carefully controlled. Some viruses have the ability to control viral replication at a molecular level and stop it before it affects the host cell. These are known as Thera virus family.
If a virus particle is allowed to replicate within a host cell, the replicated virus particles will bind to the surface of the target cell. They will compete with other virus particles for the nutrients and other molecules necessary for protein synthesis. This results in the development of what is called an autoimmune reaction in which the host cell releases antibodies to fight off the invaders.
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