What is the Lytic Cycle of a Viral Disease?
A virus is a single celled virus that will replicates itself within a living host organism. Viruses can infect many types of living organisms, such as plants, animals, and bacteria. They are also small enough that a standard microscope is not required to see them, and typically have a simple viral structure. In order for the virus to reproduce, it needs an hosts’ immune system to fight off the infection. The virus itself then becomes a’replicator’ that allows it to be passed on from one individual to another and from one bacterial cell to another.
In order to understand how viral replication occurs it is first necessary to understand the structure of a virus. A virus consists of a protein coat (stratin) and a virus enzyme (alpha subunit). The virus enzyme is essential in dividing the protein coat into pairs (strands). Once this is done, the virus becomes a viable infection and can replicate itself. The replication process then proceeds to create a new generation of infected cells, and the cycle continues.
Most viruses have not been studied fully; however, most viruses have shown to affect various types of cells in the human body. These include: sperm, muscle cells, red blood cells, white blood cells, monocytes or helper T-cells, and other immune-response producing cells such as the lymphocytes. These cells are part of our natural defenses that help keep us from becoming sick. As well, these viruses can damage healthy tissue and may contribute to diseases such as cancer.
The most common virus infects a living cell. When this happens, the virus invades the host cell’s protein makeup. This is called viral replication. For instance, the hepatitis B virus, or Hepatitis B, replicates itself in the liver (itoroma) causing disease.
Virus particles are contained within nucleic acids. Nucleic acids are long strings of genetic letters (letters of A, G, C, T, & Y). Viruses contain DNA or genetic material (the DNA acts as the central codebook for the viral genome). When a virus replicates, two copies of the DNA strand are produced, one copy is inserted into the host cell, and the other strand is passed on without modification.
The major role of the host cell is to provide a surface on which the viral particles can insert themselves. However, some viruses have the ability to penetrate the host cell completely. This allows them to invade and replicate. The invading virus then inserts its genetic material into the host cell’s nucleus. This is the lytic cycle.