Sabine Rauch, MD, Deggendorf, Germany
General information about viruses
Viruses are the smallest known "living beings" with a diameter of between 15 and 300 nm.
Great adaptability: heat stable, cold stable and even survive drying processes.
They have no metabolism of their own; their reproduction can only take place in living cells.
They contain only DNA or RNA as genetic material; no cell division takes place, they reproduce only through their nucleic acid, or require the help of host cell ribosomes for replication.
In the extracellular resting phase, no cell growth takes place; in this phase, the virus binds to the receptor of the host cell.
Viruses can "disguise" themselves by taking a part of the cell wall with them and are therefore more difficult to detect.
They can replicate in one of two ways:
Incorporation into the genome of the host cell. The genetic code of the cell is thus altered and no more of its own cells are produced. Virus replication is assumed...