General Virology

Virology is the scientific discipline concerned with the study of the biology of viruses and viral diseases, including the distribution, biochemistry, physiology, molecular biology, ecology, evolution and clinical aspects of viruses. Viruses also cause serious diseases in plants and livestock. Viruses have been implicated in a disease that is ravaging our honeybees, threatening natural pollination cycles and thus much of agriculture.  A major branch of virology is virus classification. Viruses can be classified according to the host cell they infect animal viruses, plant viruses, fungal viruses, and bacteriophages. Viruses cause many important infectious diseases, among them the common cold, influenza, rabies, measles, many forms of diarrhoea, hepatitis, Dengue fever, yellow fever, polio, smallpox and AIDS. Herpes simplex causes cold sores and genital herpes and is under investigation as a possible factor in Alzheimer's. The study of the manner in which viruses cause disease is viral pathogenesis. The degree to which a virus causes disease is its virulence.


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