Why are Viruses referred to as being Obligate Parasites

Why are Viruses referred to as being Obligate Parasites:

Viruses are often referred to as obligate parasites because they are completely dependent on host cells to replicate and survive. Unlike other microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses are not considered living organisms because they cannot carry out metabolic processes on their own. Instead, they must infect a host cell and use its machinery to replicate and spread.

Examples of Why are Viruses referred to as being Obligate Parasites

One example of an obligate viral parasite is the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). HIV is a virus that attacks and weakens the immune system, making it difficult for the body to fight off other infections. The virus can only replicate within human cells, specifically T-helper cells, and cannot survive outside of a host.

Another example is the influenza virus, which causes the flu. The influenza virus can only replicate within the cells of the respiratory tract, such as in the nose, throat, and lungs. It cannot survive outside of a host, and it needs to infect a host cell to replicate and spread to other cells.

In addition to these examples, there are many other viruses that are obligate parasites, including the viruses that cause smallpox, rabies, and the common cold. These viruses all rely on host cells to replicate and survive, making them obligate parasites.

Video Lesson: How parasites change their host’s behavior

How parasites change their host’s behavior

In conclusion, viruses are referred to as obligate parasites because they are completely dependent on host cells to replicate and survive. They can’t be classified as living organisms because they can’t carry out metabolic processes on their own. Examples include HIV, influenza and many other viruses that cause human and animal diseases.

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