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Thread: What makes a viral disease species specific?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,890

    What makes a viral disease species specific?

    I think of a virus as very primitive structure and I think of the primitive cell structures of different species of animals as having a lot in common. What makes a viral disease species specific?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    18,857
    Most viruses aren't entirely species specific.
    But the answer to your question is "cell membrane proteins", which vary from species to species. The virus gets into the cell by interacting with its surface proteins, effectively tricking the cell into ingesting the virus.

    Grant Hutchison

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