What is viral replication?

1 Answer
Jun 7, 2014

Viruses (virions) have to make more copies of themselves so they can spread. This is what we call viral replication.

In general, virus replication goes through the following five steps:
1. Adsorption, the attachment of viruses to host cells.

  1. Penetration, the entry of virions (or their genome) into host cells. Some leave the capsid and envelope behind.

  2. Synthesis, the synthesis of new nucleic acid molecules, capsid proteins, and other viral components within host cells while using the metabolic machinery of those cells. They hijack the cells' metabolic processes.

  3. Maturation, the assembly of newly synthesized viral components into complete virions.

  4. Release, the departure of new virions from host cells. Release generally, but not always, kills (lyses) host cells. (Some types will wait for a long time while hiding and are said to be lysogenic).