Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsBiology · 2 months ago

Diversity- Viruses ?

What is a bacteriophage? How can it be used in a positive way?

How can some viruses be treated (medication)? 

How can some viruses, such as measles, be prevented (medication)?

1 Answer

  • 2 months ago

    > What is a bacteriophage? 

    A bacteriophage is a virus that infects a bacterium.

    > How can it be used in a positive way?

    o in reproducing, the bacteriophage kills the bacterium host.  You can imagine bacteriophages being used to kill bacteria that are, say, antibiotic resistant.

    o bacteriophages can be used in genetic engineering to transfer useful genes into a bacterium.  This is "viral transduction."  The bacterium and its progeny then produce the protein(s) that the genetic engineers wanted the bacteria to be producing.

    > How can some viruses be treated (medication)?

    o LOL.  You keep the patient the right temperature and fed, hoping the patient will live long enough so that his immune system will defeat the viruses.

    o You can give the patient antiviral medications which interfere with a virus's ability to hijack a host cell's metabolism.  Interferons have been used.  Remdesivir has been in the news lately.

    o You can inject the patient with antibodies that are anti- against the virus.  In the news recently, blood serum is being collected from people who have recovered from COVID-19.  This serum contains antibodies against the coronavirus, and thus can help a COVID-19 patient in surviving long enough to recover.

    > How can some viruses, such as measles, be prevented (medication)?

    Through vaccination.  These vaccines stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies against the exposed viral structures.  The antibodies will coat the viral structures, which can keep the virus from attaching to its target potential host cells.  The antibodies also flag the virus for destruction.

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