How Does the Virus Injury the Host Cell?
A virus is an organism that lives on living things like bacteria and other microorganisms. The virus spreads by invading a host cell and reproducing itself. Most viruses cause no harm to humans or other organisms, but they are a very serious problem for the health of those they attack. In most cases, the way a virus replicates itself is through the process called transcription.
Transcription means copying an instruction from DNA or RNA. An instruction from DNA or RNA is a string of numbers that tells the DNA or RNA molecules how to make a protein. When a virus makes a copy of itself, it can make as many copies as it needs to survive. However, each copy will only be able to reproduce itself for a finite amount of time before it is destroyed by the immune system. If the virus gets out of control, it can multiply uncontrollably and thus cause disease in its victims.
Viruses are single-celled organisms. They do not have any protective outer membrane, and their proteins are held together by a chemical process called fusion. The fusion allows viral particles to latch onto the surface of a host cell and latch. If the virus particles are large enough, they can actually seep through the host cell’s wall and into the living cell. This is what can cause a cellular crisis or even a fatal case of viral meningitis.
Every viral particle has a unique genetic code that tells it how to replicate itself. These genetic codes are passed from parent to child during reproduction. The virus spreads by inserting its genetic particles into a host cell that is uninfected. The only thing that will stop a virus from making a copy of itself is a protein called the envelope protein. The envelope protein sits between the DNA strands on the ends of the chromosomes and protects them from being destroyed by the viral particles. When the particles damage the DNA, the cell cannot produce new copies of itself and the virus becomes inactive.
There are three major classes of complex viruses. The first is a poid virus that only infects the liver. The second is a retrovirus that can infect any part of the body. The third is a bacteriophage virus that only affects bacteria. A few other types of viruses exist but their functions are less clear than those for viruses that attack other tissues.
Some of the cells we are familiar with can grow by themselves. But for the majority of our bodies, we require help from an outside source. The process called metabolism is the basis for all of these processes. Metabolism is the process by which cells break down nutrients and store energy so that they can be used by the rest of the body. The entire cell can become a metabolic tissue if the right conditions exist. If the right conditions do not exist or if the wrong conditions occur, however, a disorder may occur and the cell may die as a result of starvation (lack of fuel to power it) or due to damage to its cellular membrane caused by the toxin.