Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    I understand that antibiotics kill bacteria and that white blood cells can ingest, produce antibodies/antitoxins, but what kills viruses? Also, is a flu a virus? Thank you
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    the flu as in common cold and such is a virus. I'd like to know how you kill viruses too
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    viruses are ard to treat as they hide inside cells and are tiny
    Offline

    10
    ReputationRep:
    Isn't there something like antiviral drugs? swear I saw it in the text book
    And yes flu is a virus

    You doing OCR gateway by any chance?

    Edit* just checked, and yes you can stop the virus from reproducing further with antivirals (not kill them)
    Perfection Ace
    Offline

    4
    ReputationRep:
    very hard to kill because they reproduce inside cells

    the only way viruses are removed is by the immune system eventually overcoming the virus
    Online

    18
    ReputationRep:
    The flu is a virus. Viruses are a bit different from other pathogens in that they're not properly alive at the best of times. A virus is composed of a protein shell containing a small amount of genetic material, and that's pretty much it - they're orders of magnitude smaller than normal cells or even bacteria. They reproduce by entering an organism's cells and using our cellular machinery to transcribe their genetic material and make more viruses, and because they can't reproduce without the help of another organism, they're not usually considered alive.

    Viruses are too small for immune cells to detect and ingest, so the immune system's main defence against them is to detect and kill virally infected cells, preventing them from reproducing. Antiviral medications have only been developed relatively recently, but even those don't truly kill viruses - they just disrupt their life cycle by preventing the viruses from entering cells or interacting with our cellular machinery.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    Thank you everyone!!! Although it's not in my AQA spec, I was just curious on how viruses are killed. Thanks everyone and good luck to those who have the exam tomorrow!!
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Perfection Ace)
    Thank you everyone!!! Although it's not in my AQA spec, I was just curious on how viruses are killed. Thanks everyone and good luck to those who have the exam tomorrow!!
    Viruses are not technically alive, as others have mentioned. They cannot reproduce on their own, and do not metabolise. They are at best biologically active bundles of DNA/RNA assorted proteins.

    Your immune cells (B-cells) release anti-bodies which are specific for that given virus. Anti-bodies can be in different formations, and some of them help bundle viral particles up together.

    This probably goes way beyond the scope of A-level Biology, but if you're interested i'll give a bit more information.

    You have a special immune cell called a T cell. When these get going, they will go around telling other parts of your immune system to target the specific protein that is causing the immune response, in this case the virus. From here the B-cells are activated for this protein, and release the specific anti-bodies required (this is the humoral immune response). The T cells don't stop working however, some of them go around with special receptors specific for that viruses proteins, and will kill any of your own cells which are showing signs of being victim to that viruses invasion (viral proteins on the cell surface). This causes temporary destruction of tissue, but it prevents the viral infection from spreading/multiplying. This is the cell-mediated immune response.

    Like I said, this is quite an in-depth topic, and I've barely even glossed over the details. If it's something you're interested in, then it would be covered in the second/third years of university course,
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by FCB)
    Viruses are not technically alive, as others have mentioned. They cannot reproduce on their own, and do not metabolise. They are at best biologically active bundles of DNA/RNA assorted proteins.

    Your immune cells (B-cells) release anti-bodies which are specific for that given virus. Anti-bodies can be in different formations, and some of them help bundle viral particles up together.

    This probably goes way beyond the scope of A-level Biology, but if you're interested i'll give a bit more information.

    You have a special immune cell called a T cell. When these get going, they will go around telling other parts of your immune system to target the specific protein that is causing the immune response, in this case the virus. From here the B-cells are activated for this protein, and release the specific anti-bodies required (this is the humoral immune response). The T cells don't stop working however, some of them go around with special receptors specific for that viruses proteins, and will kill any of your own cells which are showing signs of being victim to that viruses invasion (viral proteins on the cell surface). This causes temporary destruction of tissue, but it prevents the viral infection from spreading/multiplying. This is the cell-mediated immune response.

    Like I said, this is quite an in-depth topic, and I've barely even glossed over the details. If it's something you're interested in, then it would be covered in the second/third years of university course,
    Thanks! Wow, that sounds really really interesting! I've picked Biology as an A level subject as I hoped to go more 'deep' into the topics but it really does sound fascinating! I can't wait for September!!
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Brussels sprouts
    Useful resources

    Study tools

    Rosette

    Essay expert

    Learn to write like a pro with our ultimate essay guide.

    Thinking about uni already?

    Thinking about uni already?

    See where you can apply with our uni match tool

    Student chat

    Ask a question

    Chat to other GCSE students and get your study questions answered.

    Creating

    Make study resources

    Create all the resources you need to get the grades.

    Planner

    Create your own Study Plan

    Organise all your homework and exams so you never miss another deadline.

    Resources by subject

    From flashcards to mind maps; there's everything you need for all of your GCSE subjects.

    Papers

    Find past papers

    100s of GCSE past papers for all your subjects at your fingertips.

    Help out other students

    Can you help? Study help unanswered threads

    Groups associated with this forum:

    View associated groups
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.