01 - intro - notes.docx

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January 9, 2012
All questions midterm and exam will be multiple choice
Viruses
- Multiply only in living cells of animals, plants, bacteria
- Obligate parasites metabolically inert when they are outside their hosts
o Use host’s metabolic processes for reproduction
- Viral disease due to effects of virus-cell interaction between virus and host
o And /or host’s response to the interaction
- Hosts are vehicle for virus replication
Viruses are everywhere
- Viruses exist for all known life forms
Viruses are important
- To understand disease in humans, animals, plants
- To develop cures, treatments
- To use in experiments to understand molecular biology of cell
- To introduce foreign DNA into cells to correct genetic mutations, add new genes, treat disease,
develop vaccines, etc
Everyone is infected with viruses
- Present on skin, in intestines and respiratory tact
- 8 to 12 different viruses at any one time in HEALTHY individuals
- Majority of viruses found sequencing the healthy urinary tract, gut, respiratory tract
UNKNOWN
- Persistant viral infections entire life time
The number and nature of viruses we are exposed to is constantly changing
- New pathogens measles, SARS, Marburg, Ebola, etc.
Factors affecting new virus emergence/transmission
- High population density increase probability of person to person transmission
- Rapid transit between continents outbreaks in one place becomes a problem everywhere
- Encroachment of humans into new environments resulting in exposure to new pathogens
- Global warming expansion of areas able to support disease vectors
- Changes in societal norms sex, tattooing, piercings, IV drug us
Exposure -> infection -> spread -> adaptation
-virus must be able to replicate in host, spread may require genetic composition changing, with steep
fitness change
- most times inefficient
People are constantly being infected, resolving the infection and passing it on, without appearing ill
Variation in virus complexity
- Simplest virus
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