Differences Between Viroids and Prions


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Differences Between Viroids and Prions

In this article we will discuss about Differences Between Viroids and Prions. In our previous article we have discussed about;

Differences Between Viroids and Prions


Viroids are known as the smallest infectious pathogens which are made up solely of a short strand of circular, single-stranded self-replicating RNA that has no protein coating.

In 1971, a plant pathologist named Theodor Otto Diener first discovered the Viroids. He found an acellular particle when he was working in an Agriculture Research Service and named this particle as viroid, meaning “virus-like.” At present-33 species of viroid have been identified. Read More…


Prion is an abnormal or misfolded protein that causes fatal disease in animals and humans by transmitting their misfolded shape onto normal variants of the same protein.

Prion causes untreatable, fatal, and transmissible neurodegenerative diseases in both humans and animals. In this disease, a progressive decline is occurring in brain function. Read More…


Differences Between Viroids and Prions

TopicViroids Prions
NatureIt is an infectious RNA particleIt is an infectious protein particle.
CompositionIt is composed of only small single stranded circular RNA.It is only composed of Protein.
Nucleic acidPresent Absent
Protein coatAbsentNot known
InactivationViroids are inactivated by ribonuclease digestion.Prions are inactivated by proteinase K and trypsin digestion.
ResistantResistant to proteinase K and trypsin digestionResistant to ribonuclease treatment.
SizeViroids are smaller than virus Smaller than viroids.
HostViroid infects only higher plants (Exception: hepatitis D virus in humans is similar to viroid)Prions infect animals causing neurological degenerative diseases
Disease NameCommon plant diseases include Potato Spindle tuber disease, Chrysanthemum stunt disease.‘Mad cow disease’ (Bovine spongiform encephalopathy) in cow and Scrapie disease in sheep and goat, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), Kuru, and Gerstmann-Strausler-Sheinker syndrome in humans.

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