Mobil Genetic Elements -- Viruses and Plasmids

ID #1428

What exactly is meant by saying that the virus can persist on its own under permissive conditions. I know that the virus cannot replicate itself without a host cell, so does the previous statement just mean that they can exist without a host cell, but they will not replicate? I am a bit confused b/c on the side of my paper I have written that outside of a cell a virus cannot persist, which seems to contradict my reasoning.


Yes, that's just what this means. As long as the capsid and/or envelope remain intact, a viral particle that's just sitting there outside a cell will continue to just sit there indefinitely. You can get rid of the threat of infection by doing something to "crack open" the particle outside a cellular environment, like bleach or heat or something like that, but othewise that particle will just sit there. I think what you probably meant to write in the margin is that outside a cell, a virus cannot replicate.

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