Viral Pathogenesis

Viral pathogenesis, then, is defined as “how viruses produce disease in the host.” The portrait of viral pathogenesis is the sum of functions through which a virus causes disease (virulence) and the host resists or is susceptible. To infect its host, a virus must first enter cells at a body surface. Common sites of entry include the mucosal linings of the respiratory, alimentary, and urogenital tracts, the outer surface of the eye. The term viremia describes the presence of infectious virus particles in the blood. These virions may be free in the blood or contained within infected cells. Virulence refers to the capacity of a virus to cause disease in an infected host. It is a quantitative statement of the degree or extent of pathogenesis. In general, a virulent virus causes significant disease, whereas an avirulent or attenuated virus causes no or reduced disease, respectively.

 

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