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50 Facts About Virus

What is Virus? A virus is a type of infectious agent that is able to replicate itself inside the host organism. They are typically much ...

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Sourav Bio

What is Virus?

A virus is a type of infectious agent that is able to replicate itself inside the host organism. They are typically much smaller than bacteria and are not considered living organisms because they cannot survive or reproduce outside of a host. Viruses are able to infect a wide range of organisms, including animals, plants, and even bacteria. They cause a wide range of diseases in humans, from the common cold to more serious illnesses such as HIV and COVID-19. Viruses are transmitted from person to person through the air, by contact with infected bodily fluids, or by contact with surfaces or objects that have been contaminated with the virus.

Characteristics of Virus

Viruses have several characteristics that distinguish them from other microorganisms:

  1. Size: Viruses are extremely small, typically ranging in size from 20 to 300 nanometers.
  2. Structure: Viruses have a simple structure, typically consisting of genetic material (DNA or RNA) surrounded by a protein coat called a capsid. Some viruses also have an outer envelope made of lipids.
  3. Reproduction: Viruses are not considered living organisms because they cannot reproduce on their own. They need to infect a host cell and use the host’s machinery to replicate.
  4. Metabolism: Viruses do not have their own metabolism and cannot survive or reproduce outside of a host.
  5. Treatment: There is no specific treatment for most viral infections, and the body’s immune system usually clears the infection on its own. Antiviral drugs are available for some viral infections, such as HIV and influenza.
  6. Vaccination: Some viral infections can be prevented by vaccination, which is a way to stimulate the body’s immune system to produce a protective response against a specific virus.
  7. Host range: Viruses can infect a wide range of organisms, including animals, plants, and even bacteria.

50 Facts About Virus

  1. Some parasitic wasps bury their eggs in caterpillars, where they develop into adulthood. The wasp eggs include a virus that inhibits the caterpillar from rejecting the eggs. This virus is encoded in the wasp genome.
  2. There are one million virus particles per millilitre of saltwater – for a total of 1030 virions worldwide. They would stretch 200 million light years into space if placed end to end.
  3. The genetic information of viruses might be DNA or RNA; single- or double-stranded; contained in a single molecule or in fragments.
  4. The term virus derives from a Latin word that means slimy fluids or poison.
  5. In 1901, Walter Reed identified the first human virus, the yellow fever virus.
  6. Viruses are lifeless complex biological substances, not living organisms. They lack energy, carbon metabolism, and the ability to replicate and evolve. Viruses reproduce and evolve alone inside of cells.
  7. Each day, more than 1016 human immunodeficiency virus genomes are created worldwide. As a result, hundreds of viral variants that are resistant to every combination of antiviral drugs currently in use or under research occur by chance every day.
  8. In 1933, the first human influenza virus was identified. The 1918 pandemic influenza virus strain was generated in 2005 using nucleic acid sequences taken from illness victims.
  9. The largest known viruses are mimiviruses, which have a diameter of 400 nanometers (0.0004 millimetres). The length of the viral genome is 1,200,000 nucleotides, and it encodes for more than 900 proteins.
  10. Circoviruses are the smallest known viruses, with a diameter of 20 nanometers (0.00002 millimetres). The viral genome consists of 1,700 nucleotides and encodes two proteins.
  11. The approximately 10,000-nucleotide HIV-1 genome can exist as 106020 distinct sequences. For comparison, there are 1011 stars in the Milky Way galaxy and 1080 protons in the entire universe.
  12. The smallest virus is the Tobacco necrosis virus, which measures approximately 17 nm in length. In comparison, the Potato fever virus is around 400 nanometers in size, making it the largest virus.
  13. Cyanobacteria fossils are preserved in 3.2 billion-year-old rock at the Palaeobotany Institute of Lucknow.
  14. Bacteriophage was separately identified by Frederick W. Twort in the United Kingdom in 1915 and Felix d Herelle in France in the same year (1917). Viruses that infect bacteria and multiply within them are known as bacteriophages or bacteriophage.
  15. The virus’s protein covering is known as a capsid.
  16. According to Bawden and Darlington, viruses are composed of nucleoprotein.
  17. Viroids are tiny virus-related diseases. They lack a protein core similar to that of viruses. Only Viroids composed entirely of RNA are referred to as metaviruses.
  18. Cyanobacteria are believed to be the earliest species capable of photosynthesis.
  19. Rabies and hydrophobia viruses both contain RNA with a single strand.
  20. The smallpox virus possesses double-stranded DNA.
  21. Do you aware that the virus’ infectious component is nucleic acid?
  22. Stanley is the first individual to isolate the virus as a crystal.
  23. Antibiotics have no effect on viruses since viruses lack their own metabolic processes and always reside in host cells; hence, antibiotics exert harmful effects exclusively on the host cell.
  24. Are you aware that Rhinovirus causes the common cold?
  25. Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome is the formal name for the AIDS virus. This illness is brought on by a virus. Viruses that cause AIDS are known by the following names:
    • Human T lymphotropic virus genotype III (HLV-III)
    • Virus linked to lymphadenopathy (LAV)
    • Retrovirus associated to AIDS (ARV)
  26. There are numerous bacteriophages in the water of the Ganges. They eliminate the dangerous germs found in the river’s contaminated water. Therefore, by functioning as scavengers, they preserve the purity of the Ganga River. As phage treatment, these viruses that infect and kill bacteria could serve as a viable alternative to antibiotics.
  27. Viruses are not considered living organisms because they cannot survive or reproduce outside of a host.
  28. They are much smaller than bacteria, typically ranging in size from 20 to 300 nanometers.
  29. The smallpox virus is the only human virus to have been eradicated.
  30. The common cold is caused by a virus, as are the flu and COVID-19.
  31. Viruses can infect a wide range of organisms, including animals, plants, and even bacteria.
  32. Viruses are responsible for some of the most devastating diseases in human history, such as smallpox and HIV.
  33. The Ebola virus can cause a fatal illness in humans with a death rate of up to 90%.
  34. Many viruses have a complex life cycle that includes multiple stages and different host organisms.
  35. The 1918 flu pandemic was caused by an H1N1 virus and resulted in the deaths of an estimated 50 million people worldwide.
  36. The first virus to be discovered was the tobacco mosaic virus in 1892.
  37. The human genome contains more than 8,000 viral sequences called endogenous retroviruses.
  38. Some viruses, such as the HPV, can cause cancer.
  39. Antiviral drugs are available for some viral infections, such as HIV and influenza.
  40. Some viral infections can be prevented by vaccination.
  41. Viral infections can be spread through contact with infected bodily fluids, through the air, or by contact with surfaces or objects that have been contaminated with the virus.
  42. The COVID-19 pandemic is caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2
  43. The structure of a virus typically consists of genetic material (DNA or RNA) surrounded by a protein coat called a capsid.
  44. Viruses can mutate and evolve, which can make it difficult to develop vaccines and treatments.
  45. The flu vaccine needs to be updated each year because the flu virus can mutate rapidly.
  46. Some viruses, such as the bacteriophages, are beneficial and can be used to fight bacterial infections.
  47. Some viruses, such as the HPV and herpes, can establish a lifelong infection in the host organism.
  48. Viral infections can cause a wide range of symptoms, from mild to severe.
  49. Some viruses, such as the HIV, can weaken the immune system, making the host more susceptible to other infections.
  50. Scientists are still studying and learning about viruses, and new discoveries about their biology and behavior are made regularly.

Citation

APA

Sourav Bio. (January 16, 2023).50 Facts About Virus. Retrieved from https://microbiologynote.com/50-facts-about-virus/

MLA

Sourav Bio. "50 Facts About Virus." Microbiology Note, Microbiologynote.com, January 16, 2023.

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