Wikipedia's portal for exploring content related to Viruses
Portal maintenance status: (May 2019)
This portal is manually maintained by Espresso Addict. Please contact these user(s) when you plan to make significant changes.
This portal's subpageshave been checked by an editor, and are needed.
Additional notes: For ease of ongoing maintenance the portal maintainer is opposed to refactoring this portal in a different format; please discuss on talk page. UPDATE STATUS: All medical and biological articles and BLPs reviewed (Feb 2020); unreviewed material is all bios of the deceased. Latest updates: Feb 2021 (disease, virus, miscellany, intervention, outbreak, quotation, news), Jan 2021 (DYK, news), Nov 2020 (DYK, news, recommended articles), March 2020 (images, DYK, news), February 2020 (news), January 2020 (DYK, news, recommended articles), July 2019 (DYK, news), June 2019 (news), May 2019 (DYK, news, recommended articles), April 2019 (news, suggestions), March 2019 (news, recommended articles), January 2019 (DYK), July 2018 (quotations), May 2018 (images).
Viruses are small infectious agents that can replicate only inside the living cells of an organism. Viruses infect all forms of life, including animals, plants, fungi, bacteria and archaea. They are found in almost every ecosystem on Earth and are the most abundant type of biological entity, with millions of different types, although only about 6,000 viruses have been described in detail. Some viruses cause disease in humans, and others are responsible for economically important diseases of livestock and crops.
The origins of viruses are unclear: some may have evolved from plasmids, others from bacteria. Viruses are sometimes considered to be a life form, because they carry genetic material, reproduce and evolve through natural selection. However they lack key characteristics (such as cell structure) that are generally considered necessary to count as life. Because they possess some but not all such qualities, viruses have been described as "organisms at the edge of life".
Biosafety level 3 equipment is used for research with viruses such as influenza that can cause serious disease but for which treatment is available. The biosafety cabinet uses HEPA filters to filter viruses out of the air. This researcher is examining reconstructed 1918 pandemic influenza virus, or "Spanish flu".
Vaccination or immunisation is the administration of immunogenic material (a vaccine) to stimulate an individual's immune system to develop adaptiveimmunity to a virus or other pathogen, and so develop protection against an infectious disease. The active agent of a vaccine may be intact but inactivated or weakened forms of the pathogen, or purified highly immunogenic components, such as viral envelope proteins. Smallpox was the first disease for which a vaccine was produced, by Edward Jenner in 1796.
Vaccination is the most effective method of preventing infectious diseases and can also ameliorate the symptoms of infection. When a sufficiently high proportion of a population has been vaccinated, herd immunity results. Widespread immunity due to mass vaccination is largely responsible for the worldwide eradication of smallpox and the elimination of diseases such as polio from much of the world. Since their inception, vaccination efforts have met with objections on scientific, ethical, political, medical safety and religious grounds, and the World Health Organization considers vaccine hesitancy an important threat to global health.
The global infection rate was estimated as 11–21%. This pandemic strain was less lethal than previous ones, killing about 0.01–0.03% of those infected, compared with 2–3% for Spanish flu. Most experts agree that at least 284,500 people died, mainly in Africa and Southeast Asia – comparable with the normal seasonal influenza fatalities of 290,000–650,000 – leading to claims that the World Health Organization had exaggerated the danger.
What is needed ... is a new inquiry at international level ... to investigate a reconciliation between the right to health and the right of authors to proper protection for their inventions. At the moment, all the eggs are in the basket of the authors, and it’s not really a proportionate balance.
Hepatitis delta virus or hepatitis D virus (HDV) is a small virusoid, the sole member of the Deltavirusgenus. It infects humans. A subviral satellite, it can only replicate in the presence of a hepatitis B (HBV) helper virus. The spherical virion is 36 nm in diameter, with an envelope containing three HBV proteins. The single-stranded, negative-sense, circular RNA genome of 1679 nucleotides is smaller than that of any known animal virus. It has an unusual base composition for an entity that infects animals, and is extensively bound to itself to form a partially double-stranded, rod-shaped structure. These features have led to suggestions that HDV might be related to viroids, small unencapsidated circular RNAs that infect plants. Unlike viroids, HDV encodes a protein, hepatitis D antigen.
Both HDV and HBV enter liver cells using the sodium/bile acid cotransporter as their receptor. They are mainly transmitted via injecting drug use and blood products. More than 15 million people are infected with both viruses, which is associated with a greater risk of liver complications than HBV infection alone. Around one in five jointly infected patients die. The HBV vaccine protects against HDV.
With the outbreak of World War II, Burnet's focus moved to influenza. Although his efforts to develop a live vaccine proved unsuccessful, he developed assays for the isolation, culture and detection of influenza virus, including haemagglutination assays. Modern methods for producing influenza vaccines are still based on his work improving virus-growing processes in hen's eggs. He also researched influenza virus genetics, examining the genetic control of virulence and demonstrating, several years before influenza virus was shown to have a segmented genome, that the virus recombined at high frequency.