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Steps in viral replication

Recall that viruses can only replicate in a host cell (they are obligate parasites). There are several steps involved in viral replication:

  1. Viral entry: the virus must first enter the host cell. Methods of viral entry depend on whether or not the virus is enveloped and the type of host.

    Viruses can only enter plant cells through damaged regions in the cell wall.

    The type of molecules present on the viral envelope determine how it can attach to the host cell's membrane.

  2. Viral replication: once inside a cell, the genome must be replicated. The type of viral genome influences the way it is replicated.

    In general, a DNA virus replicates in the nucleus (if there is one), and an RNA virus replicates in the cytoplasm .

  3. Viral shedding: once the virus has been replicated and the resources within the host cell have been depleted, the virus leaves the cell to find a new host.