Questions tagged [virology]

Virology deals with the study of viruses, infectious entities that require the machinery of a host cell to replicate.

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Evidences supporting that coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) came from bats

I was trying to find evidence that the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) came from bats. So far I know that coronavirus shared 96.2% overall genome sequence identity with a bat coronavirus RaTG13 from ...
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How does the inactivation process of vaccines work on a cellular level? e.g. how does an inactivated virus look really?

it's very easy to find information what is an inactivated or dead virus, more or less. But I want the full detail. If you heat treat a virus, what is left of it? like chopping the virus into pieces? ...
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How many coronavirus particles are in the body at the peak?

How many coronavirus (or other common virus) particles are in the body at the peak? How far it multiplies? Are there billions, trillions or other number of them?
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DNA mutations in humans are generally bad, but why in viruses make their bodies stronger?

I want to know why this happens to viruses. can we apply that technique to the human body too
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Covid-19 is a respiratory illness. So how could you catch it by touch?

The U.S. department of agriculture put out a statement in February 2021 in which they wished to underscore that at the time there is no epidemiologic or scientific information that COVID-19 spreads ...
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Are there phage-eating bacteria?

If phages (bacterium-eating viruses) prowl on bacteria, are there bacteria (or other micro-organisms) that hunt phages for food? They are rich in proteins anyway... Are there studies on this subject? ...
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Can we assume to face more mutations of a virus with a rising degree of vaccinated individuals in the population? [duplicate]

Can we assume to face more mutations of a virus with a rising degree of vaccinated individuals in the population? And if so, what are the reasons for this? So, I am comparing two scenarios: A) No ...
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The probability meaning of Covid variants

In the CDC webpage about Covid-19's variants the next sentence appears: This (the United Kingdom) variant spreads more easily and quickly than other variants. In the ECDC paper about Covid-19's ...
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T cell “memory” vs natural immunity with viral infections

Please note: in this question I discuss COVID-19 as an example, but it really applies to viruses in general and how the immune system deals with "remembering" how to overpower them upon ...
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Is there a reliable reproduction rate for adenoviruses?

I was trying to find a R0 for adenoviruses but the best I could find was a study done in a bootcamp in China that infected 375 people. This states that the R0 was found to be 5.1: The basic ...
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What is disease risk?

I would like to find an accurate definition of disease risk for virus ecology. I am searching in articles and in none of them this term is defined, they only mention it. ...
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With an mRNA-vaccine, would it hypothetically be possible to get that sequence transcribed into their genome for people who suffer from a retrovirus?

I recently read a bit about the mRNA-vaccines for COVID-2019. I fully understand that mRNA cannot enter the genome of a healthy person as they lack the required reverse transcriptase required to ...
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Why are adenoviral vector vaccines safe in terms of insertion mutagenesis due to genome integration and E4 region's proteins effects?

Disclaimer: I'm neither a genetics professional nor an anti-vax fanatic, I just tried to compare COVID-19 vaccine types currently available on the market and got some questions that I'd like to answer ...
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How is SARS-CoV-2 'deactivated' for some Covid vaccines (for example Covaxin)? [closed]

Some Covid vaccines like Covaxin employ a 'Whole-Virion Inactivated Vero Cell'. How is the virion 'deactivated' for the vaccine?
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When does one decide to refer to a virus as a new variant?

I've read that SARS-Cov-2 has several variants, e.g.: Can the U.S. keep Covid variants in check? Here's what it takes. Novavax’s Vaccine Works Well — Except on Variant First Found in South Africa ...
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Is viral single-stranded RNA in the absence of reverse transcriptase infectious?

In a medical microbiology textbook I'm reading (Murray et al, 1994), the authors state the following: The retrovirus genome has a 5' cap and is polyadenylated at the 3' end. Although the genome ...
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Do plant viruses attack animals? examples? [duplicate]

Do plant viruses attack animals, if yes please give an example of the virus. I feel both plant and animal viruses are different, and they cannot attack each other hosts.
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How are vaccines mass-produced?

I have a background in product design and so am familiar with with how most things are mass-produced — food, machines, etc. But I've been able to find very little information on how vaccines are mass-...
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How do plants prevent infection from retroviruses? [duplicate]

Why are plants not affected by animal viruses such as retroviruses? What prevents them from being infected?
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What is the consensus in the scientific community over COVID-19's mode of transmission?

I've read from many news and scientific sources that COVID spreads primarily through respiratory droplets, but I've also read multiple sources that have said we don't entirely know yet. Is it fomites, ...
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Can a virus infect a virus?

As far as I know a virus can infect any cellular organism from a bacteria onwards, including protists, algae, plants, and so forth. But can a virus infect a virus?
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Sensitivity vs. Limit of Detection of rapid antigen tests

I'm comparing a bunch of SARS-CoV2 rapid antigen tests: Source Columns 4 and 6 list the values for sensitivity and limit of detection (LOD). How come that a test with a several times lower limit of ...
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Minimum and maximum exposure to virus

Is it possible to say that there is a maximum exposure time for the virus so that even an exposure time beyond that - will leave us with the same chances of infection? If so, is there a way to ...
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How do viroids and virusoids cause infection to a specific host ? How could they indentify the host without protein?

We know, the capsule provides specific pathogenecity for the virus right ? Then , how do viroids and virusoids cause infection to a specific host ? How could they indentify the host without protein ?...
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Why do some vaccines lose their efficacy with time?

Why do some vaccines lose with time their efficacy? The two obvious examples that I have in mind are influenza and tetanus. The former case is clear, as influenza virus undergoes frequent gene ...
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How do adenoviruses interact with muscle tissue that it makes them acceptable as vector viruses?

From what I understand certain attenuated adenoviruses are popular as a vector virus, meaning a virus that is used as the active agent in a vaccine to infect cells and trigger a helpful immune ...
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What makes some viruses more infectious than others?

This week a new strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was discovered in the UK, and reports are saying that it's more infectious than the strains we've been dealing with for the past year. Which made me ...
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What is the probability of virus undergoing a specific dangerous mutation? [closed]

Non-biologist here so apologies if the question is violating too many of the community standards for asking a question in the forum. What got me thinking was imagining how much more terrifying the ...
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Coronavirus mutation: bad luck or a consequence of vaccination?

I would like to know whether a mutation within a virus (such as the new coronavirus mutation that appeared in England source) is a consequence of the vaccination program - maybe because it is ...
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Surrogate (CTL-1) for Influenza A

Can anyone please advise some possible commercially available (off the shelf) level 1 alternatives for Flu virus? The idea is to capture this virus on a special material. So the 'replacement' should ...
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How can mutation of viruses lead to loss of fit to antibodies without loss of fit to antigen of cells they infect?

Viruses are known to mutate, thereby escaping immune cells and evading vaccination. Given that there is one and the same specificity of the key to both the receptor on the infected cell causing the ...
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Is it possible to spread vaccine through air?

I am not a biology people. But this question has been bothering me for months. I read the news that, even if an effective vaccine (for Covid-19) successfully created, the transport of the vaccine and ...
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To a population with no immunity, why is smallpox or measles more deadly compared to COVID-19?

Specifically, this is not a question asking how easily a virus spread in a population (airborne, asymptomatic spread, etc), but regarding the mechanism or the "havoc" it wreaks once inside a ...
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Why does vaccine development take so long?

The main principle behind a vaccine is to take a deactivated virus, "show" it to the immune system so it can "learn" how it looks like, so if and when the real virus does attack us,...
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What does vaccine efficacy mean?

In the last few weeks, Pfizer/BionTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca have each released preliminary estimates of the efficacy of their SARS-COV-2 vaccines. But what do their respective efficacy percentages ...
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How does HIV know to attack specific immune system cells?

I'm no biologist, but curious of the answer to which I could not find online. How are Human Immunodeficiency viruses able to detect and distinguish immune system cells with a CD4 receptor on the ...
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SARS-COV-2 detectability versus viability

This week (#47 of 2020) two meta-reviews were published in the Lancet. Ct values and infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces, a brief review published on 19 November in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, ...
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Do antigen presenting cells present only antigens they have receptors for?

Although this sounds like a good beginner's question I have found no corresponding textbook passage. It should make sense for antigen presenting cells - APCs - to present only antigen that can be used ...
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Need for -70 degree temperature for Corona vaccine

Recent news of Pfizer vaccine for corona needing -70C temperature, made me thinking why such a low temperature is needed for mRNA based vaccine? Are there other vaccine around which need such a low ...
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Why does touch the face make more likely to be infected?

Why is it risky to touch the face although there is no direct contact with into the nose, eyes and mouth? Is there any possibility that pathogens infect us from our facial skin? Suppose we have ...
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Can vaccination be explained by a principle of “broad specifity” of immune cells?

In the context of Covid-19, in Denmark all ferrets/minks in farms were killed, as there is infection in humans by the ferret corona-subtype. Contrary heightened concerns, a virus transferred from ...
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Can a non-response to a vaccine be tested?

The BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 is said to be 90% effective. Is there a test to establish the (degree of) success in individuals of a vaccine at provoking the desired immune response? ...
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How do viruses provide selective advantage

I've heard in many talks as a passing, well-known fact that viruses(e.g. pathogenic HPV strains) offer selective advantage for the infected cell to multiply. But I'm not able to quite wrap my head ...
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Can an epidemic span multiple countries?

Can an epidemic centralised in one area be still considered an epidemic if it spans multiple countries? If so what is the limit to the number of countries a disease can infect in one region before it ...
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What is the rate of bacterial cell death due to viruses on land?

"The rate of viral infection in the oceans stands at 1 × 10^23 infections per second, and these infections remove 20–40% of all bacterial cells each day." - https://www.nature.com/articles/...
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Reason for partially double-stranded DNA of Hepatitis B virus

According to my school biology textbook and also Wikipedia, hepatitis B is the only Hepatitis virus to possess partially double-stranded DNA. I found an image from here What is the reason for the ...
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Are there any examples of viruses that have jumped from reptile to human?

I know that there are plenty of examples of zoonosis occurring from reptiles to humans that involve bacterial pathogens, (e.g. Salmonella) but are there any instances of viruses being transferred from ...
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Why can human viruses that can't infect chickens be grown in embryonic chicken cells?

Embryonic chicken cells are commonly used in vaccine production. The viruses are grown in chicken eggs, or in embryonic cells taken from those eggs, and then inactivated or attenuated to produce the ...
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COVID-19 deaths by year of birth?

Are there (global, country, etc.) data of COVID-19 deaths (or hospitalization) by year of birth? I was able to found them only by "age group", the meaning of this being usually an interval ...
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Biosafety Level 1 (BSL-1) surrogate viruses that show greatest similarity to SARS-CoV-2

I would like to know if there are any viruses that show high similarity to SARS-CoV-2 (particularly in terms of structure) that are very safe to use (i.e., classified as BSL-1). For example, an avian ...

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