AAT Bioquest

What are the properties of a virus?

Posted January 26, 2023

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.  
  4. 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.  
  5. Viruses are host-specific. They only infect a single species and specific host cells.
Additional resources

Structure and Composition of Viruses

Covidyte™ EN450

MycoLight™ Live Bacteria Fluorescence Imaging Kit