Viruses Are All Around Us Essay

1260 Words Nov 19th, 2014 6 Pages
Viruses are all around us in this world. They all vary in size, shape, genomic contents, and a variety of other characteristics. Some viruses are more deadly than other viruses and some viruses are very uncommon. There are some odd viruses that can cause a disease; be fought off by the immune system, but instead of dying retreat back into the host and lie dormant until another time. A common example of this type of virus is the Varicella Zoster virus. This is the virus that causes chicken pox in children and young adults, but is also the culprit for shingles in elder adults. Varicella Virus has the ability to “hide out” from the body’s immune system until the time is right to strike.
The Varicella Zoster Virus is a part of the Herpesvirdae family[1]. Characteristics of this class of virus are a primary infection followed by dormant and latency phase which then another infection comes from. Herpes is a disease similar to Chicken Pox and Shingles, but this paper is going to exclude the Herpes Simplex and talk only of the Varicella Zoster virus that causes Chicken Pox and Shingles.
The Varicella Zoster virus (VZV) replicates in the cells of the body. It targets the epithelial cells and replicates inside them[2]. The VZV has a protein capsid that is described as polygonal or spherical[3]. The capsid contains the genetic material for the virus, which is double stranded DNA[3]. This enveloped capsid docks at the nuclear pore of the epithelial cells and are taken in via…

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