Can we talk about a virus?

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Now, let us take a good look at an invasion of the body by a cold virus.  Consider the cooperative efforts of the body’s immune cells and molecules in an encounter with an adenovirus, the agent involved in most colds.  Like other viruses, the adenovirus consists of a stand on genetic material encased in a protein coat.  It enters the body through the mucus membranes in our nose, throat and eyes.  Latching on the surface of its host cell, the viral agent penetrates the membrane of its target and injects its own genetic material into the cell body.

Once inside the host, this minute fraction of genetic information swiftly tries to divert the cell’s machinery to the production of new virus particles, or virions. This kills the cell and is automatically absorbed by the virus itself.  As long as the resistance of the body is kept high, this kamikaze action keeps the body at maximum performance.  You get a scratchy throat, stuffy nose, and you cough and sneeze the virus that has injested the cell and nothing happens to the body.

Amazing isn’t it?


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