Antibodies and Reagents for Infectious Diseases
A virus is a microscopic
(From the Latin virus meaning
or poison). They depend on the host cells that they infect to reproduce. When found outside of host cells, viruses exist as a protein coat or capsid, sometimes enclosed within a membrane. The
encloses genetic material (RNA or DNA) which codes for the virus elements.
They need a host living cell to reproduce. They can infect all types of life forms, from animals and plants to microorganisms, including bacteria and archaea. To do so, a virus inserts its genetic material into its host, literally taking over the host's functions. The infected cell reproduces more viral protein and genetic material instead of its usual products. It is this process that earns viruses the classification of "parasite".
Some viruses may remain dormant inside host cells for long periods, causing no obvious change in their host cells (a stage known as the lysogenic phase). But when a dormant virus is stimulated, it enters the lytic phase: new viruses are formed, self-assemble, and burst out of the host cell, killing the cell and going on to infect other cells.
Viruses cause a number of diseases in eukaryotes. In humans, this includes:
How does our body fight viruses?
A viral infection is first detected by the innate immune system, also known as the nonspecific immune system. A process begins called
, which is crucial to fighting viruses because it degrades the viral genetic material and enables cells to survive the infection.
At later stage a strong adaptive immune response is developed along with immunological memory, where each pathogen is "remembered" by a signature
This is an antigen-specific response which requires the recognition of specific "non-self" antigens during a process called antigen presentation. The key components of the adaptive immune system are B-cells, T-cells,
and the secondary lymphoid organs.
You can browse below for the corresponding product list depending on your pathogen of interest: