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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 infecting bacteria, which
include the most complex viruses). Another classification uses the geometrical shape of their capsid
(often a helix or an icosahedron) or the virus's structure (e.g. presence or absence of a lipid envelope).
Viruses range in size from about 30 nm to about 450 nm, which means that most of them cannot be
seen with light microscopes. The shape and structure of viruses has been studied by electron
microscopy, NMR spectroscopy, and X-ray crystallography.
The most useful and most widely used classification system distinguishes viruses according to the type
of nucleic acid they use as genetic material and the viral replication method they employ to coax host
cells into producing more viruses
One main motivation for the study of viruses is the fact that they cause many important infectious
diseases, among them the common cold, influenza, rabies, measles, many forms of diarrhea, hepatitis,
Dengue fever, yellow fever, polio, smallpox and AIDS.[4] Herpes simplex causes cold sores and genital
herpes and is under investigation as a possible factor in Alzheimer's.
Some viruses, known as oncoviruses, contribute to the development of certain forms of cancer. The best
studied example is the association between Human papillomavirus and cervical cancer: almost all cases
of cervical cancer are caused by certain strains of this sexually transmitted virus. Another example is the
association of infection with hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses and liver cancer.
Some subviral particles also cause disease: the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, which
include Kuru, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and bovine spongiform encephalopathy ("mad cow disease"),
are caused by prions.,[5] hepatitis D is due to a satellite virus.
The study of the manner in which viruses cause disease is viral pathogenesis. The degree to which a
virus causes disease is its virulence.
When the immune system of a vertebrate encounters a virus, it may produce specific antibodies which
bind to the virus and neutralize its infectivity or mark it for destruction. Antibody presence in blood
serum is often used to determine whether a person has been exposed to a given virus in the past, with
tests such as ELISA. Vaccinations protect against viral diseases, in part, by eliciting the production of
antibodies. Monoclonal antibodies, specific to the virus, are also used for detection, as in fluorescence
The word virus appeared in 1599 and originally meant "venom".[9]
A very early form of vaccination known as variolation was developed several thousand years ago in
China. It involved the application of materials from smallpox sufferers in order to immunize others. In
1717 Lady Mary Wortley Montagu observed the practice in Istanbul and attempted to popularize it in
Britain, but encountered considerable resistance. In 1796 Edward Jenner developed a much safer
method, using cowpox to successfully immunize a young boy against smallpox, and this practice was
widely adopted. Vaccinations against other viral diseases followed, including the successful rabies
vaccination by Louis Pasteur in 1886. The nature of viruses however was not clear to these researchers.

Dmitri Ivanovsky

Martinus Beijerinck
In 1892 Dimitri Ivanovski showed that a disease of tobacco plants, tobacco mosaic disease, was caused
by an extremely minuscule infectious agent, capable of permeating porcelain Chamberland filters,
something which bacteria could never do. He described his findings in an article (1892)[10] and a
dissertation (1902).[11] In 1898 Martinus Beijerinck repeated Ivanovski's work but went further and
passed the "filterable agent" from plant to plant, found the action undiminished, and concluded it
infectiousreplicating in the hostand thus not a mere toxin. He called it contagium vivum fluidum.[12]
The question of whether the agent was a "living fluid" or a particle was however still open.
In 1903 it was suggested for the first time that transduction by viruses might cause cancer. In 1908 Bang
and Ellerman showed that a filterable virus could transmit chicken leukemia, data largely ignored till the
1930s when leukemia became regarded as cancerous.[13] In 1911 Peyton Rous reported the transmission
of chicken sarcoma, a solid tumor, with a virus, and thus Rous became "father of tumor virology".[13] The

virus was later called Rous sarcoma virus 1 and understood to be a retrovirus. Several other cancercausing retroviruses have since been described.
The existence of viruses that infect bacteria (bacteriophages) was first recognized by Frederick Twort in
1911, and, independently, by Felix d'Herelle in 1917. As bacteria could be grown easily in culture, this
led to an explosion of virology research.
The cause of the devastating Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 was initially unclear. In late 1918, French
scientists showed that a "filter-passing virus" could transmit the disease to people and animals, fulfilling
Koch's postulates.[14]
In 1926 it was shown that scarlet fever is caused by a bacterium that is infected by a certain
While plant viruses and bacteriophages can be grown comparatively
Virology is the study of viruses and their role in disease. The science includes human, animal, insect,
plant, fungal, and bacterial virology. Researchers may work in clinical, ecological, biological, or
biochemical fields.

The Baltimore classication of viruses. (-) and (+) indicates negative or

positive sense nucleaic acid. ss indicates single-stranded nucleic acid and ds double-stranded, helical,
nucleic acid. By GrahamColm at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

Baltimore Classification By Carter JB, Saunders VA (Virology: principles

and applications) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The first studies of viruses and their role in causing disease began thousands of years ago in China, when
an early form of vaccination against smallpox was developed. This early process involved applying tiny

amounts of secretions from a person who had smallpox to those who had not yet been infected to keep
them from becom
(Brazilian National Standards)
MADSEN, MM. Virology. Salem Press Encyclopedia of Health. 2011.
(American Medical Assoc.)
Reference List
Madsen M. Virology. Salem Press Encyclopedia Of Health [serial online]. 2011;Available from: Research
Starters, Ipswich, MA. Accessed December 22, 2014.
(American Psychological Assoc.)
Madsen, M. M. (2011). Virology. Salem Press Encyclopedia Of Health,
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date
Reference List
Madsen, Marianne M., M.S. 2011. "Virology." Salem Press Encyclopedia Of HealthResearch Starters,
EBSCOhost (accessed December 22, 2014).
Chicago/Turabian: Humanities
Madsen, Marianne M., M.S. "Virology." Salem Press Encyclopedia Of Health (2011): Research Starters,
EBSCOhost (accessed December 22, 2014).
Madsen, MM 2011, 'Virology', Salem Press Encyclopedia Of Health, Research Starters, EBSCOhost,
viewed 22 December 2014.
Harvard: Australian
Madsen, MM 2011, 'Virology', Salem Press Encyclopedia of Health.

(Modern Language Assoc.)
Works Cited
Madsen, Marianne M., M.S. "Virology." Salem Press Encyclopedia Of Health (2011): Research Starters.
Web. 22 Dec. 2014.
Madsen M. Virology. Salem Press Encyclopedia Of Health [serial on the Internet]. (2011), [cited
December 22, 2014]; Available from: Research Starters.
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