What are the properties of a virus?
Posted January 26, 2023
- A virus is a tiny, non-cytoplasmic, acellular, microscopic structure that may range from 20 - 300 nm in diameter. Because they are smaller than bacteria, viruses can easily pass through bacterial filters.
- It is classified as something between living and nonliving. It cannot respire, grow, or metabolize. However, it can reproduce when inside a living host cell.
- A virus consists of nucleic acid surrounded by a capsid-protein envelope. The nucleic acid may consist of single-stranded or double-stranded RNA or DNA.
- Viruses have different shapes, ranging from spherical, rectangular and filamentous or rod-shaped to irregular, pleomorphic, and tadpole-shaped. They have 3 types of symmetry – helical, polyhedral, and binal.
- Viruses are host-specific. They only infect a single species and specific host cells.
Structure and Composition of Viruses