Basic structure of the virus
Synonyms None, except for specific viruses. For example animal viruses can be called zoophaginae and bacterial viruses can be called bacteriophages
Forms Adj.: viral

Latin: virus, means "poison" or "venom".

Free definitions
The taxonomic kingdom made up of the viruses, submicroscopic non-cellular structures consisting of a core of DNA or RNA surrounded by a protein coat, that require a living host cell to replicate, and often cause disease in the host.
A virus is a small infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of other organisms. Viruses can infect all types of life forms, from animals and plants to bacteria and archaea.


Viruses are small (usually in the range of 20-300 nm) infectious agents, that infect living cells,[note 1] hijack their inner machinery[note 2] and eventually kill the host cell by means of hundreds of its progeny breaking out of the cell in quick succession.[note 3]

They usually[note 4] are usually spherical in structure and consist of three major parts: their surface proteins, their envelope and their capsid.[1]


  1. Which for future reference will be called "host cells"
  2. That is, the structures of the virus that are designed to replicate the cell or produce new proteins within the cell, instead the virus uses this machinery to reproduce itself and produce its own proteins
  3. If not all at once
  4. But some viruses like bacteriophages do not

Reference listEdit

  1. Lodish, H; Berk, A; Zipursky, SL (2000). "Chapter 41 Structure and Classification of Viruses". Medical Microbiology. 4th edition. New York, USA: W. H. Freeman.  Unknown parameter |nbk= ignored (help)

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