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INFECTIOUS DISEASE

BACTERIOLOGY IMMUNOLOGY MYCOLOGY PARASITOLOGY VIROLOGY

 


VIROLOGY - GLOSSARY

Dr. Margaret Hunt 
 

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Logo image Jeffrey Nelson, Rush University, Chicago, Illinois  and The MicrobeLibrary
 

CAPSID  
The protein coat that surrounds the nucleic acid of a virus.

CAPSOMERS  
Substructures of virus particles. Composed of aggregates of polypeptide chains that interact to form the basic structural units of the capsid.

CASE FATALITY RATE (=CFR)  
The proportion of clinically apparent cases which result in death.

CYTOPATHIC EFFECT (=CPE)  
CPE consists of morphologic alterations of host cells, may result in cell death.

ENVELOPE  
A host-cell-derived membrane, containing virus specific antigens, that is acquired during virus maturation.

FOMITE  
An object (e.g. furniture, book) that is not harmful in itself but which can harbor pathogenic organisms and thus may be involved in transmission of an infection

GENOME  
A set of genes.

GIANT CELLS  
See SYNCYTIUM.

HEMADSORPTION  
The attachment of red blood cells to the surface of host cells.

HEMAGGLUTINATION   
Aggregation of red blood cells.

ICOSAHEDRON  
A geometric figure composed of 12 vertices, 20 triangular faces and 30 edges.

INCLUSION BODIES  
Usually sites of virus synthesis or assembly; may be of diagnostic value (e.g. Negri bodies in rabies infection).

MONOLAYER  
Sheet of cells forming a continuous layer one cell thick on a solid (e.g. glass or plastic) surface. Cells may be e.g. fibroblast, epithelial, epitheliod in nature. They may exist in either primary or continuous (transformed) state.

NANOMETER  
10-9meter. 1nm = 10. 1000nm = 1μm.

NUCLEOCAPSID  
The virus structure composed of the nucleic acid surrounded by the capsid.

PEPLOMERS  
See SPIKES (peplos = envelope).

PLAQUE  
A defined area of cell destruction resulting from virus infection in vitro.

PLAQUE FORMING UNIT (=PFU)  
A measure of infectious virus particles. One plaque forming unit is equivalent to one infectious virus particle.

POCK  
A discrete pustular lesion found in the chorioallantoic membrane or skin following infection with certain viruses.

SPIKE
Surface projection of varying lengths spaced at regular intervals on the viral envelope, also called peplomers. Consist of viral glycoproteins

STRUCTURAL PROTEINS  
Those proteins which are present in the virion. THIS INCLUDES PROTEINS PRESENT IN LOW AMOUNTS.
'STRUCTURAL PROTEINS' do NOT necessarily play a skeletal role in maintaining a virus's shape.

SYNCYTIUM  
A multinucleated protoplasmic mass formed by the fusion of originally separate cells

VIRAL HEMAGGLUTININ  
A virally coded protein on the outer surface of some viruses which reacts with a surface determinant on red cells. Since such a virion will have many copies of the surface hemagglutinin, it can bind to more than one red blood cell, thus causing hemagglutination.

VIRAL INFECTIOUS DOSE   
The amount of virus required to cause a demonstrable infection in 50% of the inoculated animals (ID50) or tissue culture cells (TCID50).

VIREMIA  
Presence of virus particles in the blood

VIRION   
The mature virus particle, with all of its structural components intact.

VIRUS   
A small, obligate intracellular parasite that depends on a living host cell for energy, precursors, enzymes, and ribosomes to multiply. It consists of a single type of nucleic acid, either DNA or RNA, and a protein coat surrounding the nucleic acid. In addition, some viruses have an envelope. 

 

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This page last changed on Saturday, February 07, 2015
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Richard Hunt